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MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE. 



VOL. LIIL 








MACMILLAN'S 




VOL. LIIL 

NOVEMBER 1885, TO APRIL 1886. 



MACMILLAN AND CO., 
29 & 30, BEDFORD STREET, CO VENT GARDEN ; AND 

gotk. 
1886. 




W.J. LINTON. S' 





The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved. 




,53 



RICHARD CLAY & SONS, 
BREAD STREET HILL, 

Bungay, Su/olk. 



CONTENTS. 



i'AGE 

American Notes, Some 43 

Arolliad, The; an Epic of the Alps k ..... 311 

Austria's Policy in the East , 17 

Books, A Century of 377 

Borrow, George. By GEORGE SAINTSBURY 1 70 

Bradshaw, Henry. By ARTHUR BENSON 475 

Burmah, Matters in. By MAJOR-GENERAL McMAHON 314 

Champion of her Sex, A. By W. MINTO 264 

Church Authority ; its meaning and value. By REV. J. M. WILSON . . . . . . . 116 

Classic Ground, On 28 

Cossack Poet, A. By W. R. MORFILL 458 

Culture and Science. By E. A. SONNENSCHEIN 5 

Democracy, The Socialistic Tendencies of Modern. By HON. G. C. BRODRICK . . 390 
Dymond, Mrs. By MRS. RITCHIE (Miss THACKERAY) : 

Chapters xxxii. xxxv 63 

,, xxxvi. xxxiX 141 

Egypt, The Situation in. By R. H. Lang 246 

" English," The Depression of. By W. BAPTISTE SCOONES 37 

Eton College, Ode on a Near Prospect of 213 

" Eumenides " at Cambridge, The. By MOWBRAY MORRIS 205 

Faroes, A Walk in the 121 

February Filldyke. A SONNET 263 

Florence and Modern Tuscany, Old. By MRS. Ross 153 

Footprints 276 

Fyvie Castle, and its Lairds. By MRS. Ross 465 

Garrison, William Lloyd. By GOLDWIN SMITH 321 

General Readers ; By One of Them . 450 

Gladstone Myth, The Great 241 

Graham, Victor . k : 364 

Grant, General. By L. J. JENNINGS 161 

Holiday, A. Sonnet 347 

Indian Village, An 75 



vi Contents. 

PAGE 

Irish Shootings 92 

King's Daughter in Danger, The 193 

Legend of Another World, A. By the Author of " A Strange Temptation ". ... 401 

Literature, The Office of 361 

Long Odds. By H. RIDER HAGGARD 289 

Love's Labours Lost, On. By WALTER PATER 89 

Mendelssohn, Moses 298 

Morris and the French Revolution, Gouverneur 55 

Peacock, Thomas Love. By GEORGE SAINTSBURY 414 

Poetic Imagination, The. By ARTHUR TILLEY 184 

Poetry and Politics. By ANDREW LANG 81 

Poetry and Politics. By ERNEST MYERS 257 

Poetry, The Musical and the Picturesque Elements in. By THOMAS WHITTAKER . . 428 

Poetry, The Province and Study of. By FRANCIS T. PALGRAVE 332 

Present-Day Idealism 445 

Reflections, Some Random 278 

Robsart, The Death of Amy 131 

Sand's Country, In George. By Miss BETHAM EDWARDS 382 

School-Book, An Old. By J. H. RAVEN . 437 

Shakespeare, A Translator of 104 

Strange Temptation, A 215 

Van Storck, Sebastian. By WALTER PATER 348 

Vastness. By LORD TENNYSON '. 1 

Victor Graham 364 

Whist, American Leads at. By CAVENDISH 235 



MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE. 

VOLUMES I. TO LIII., COMPRISING NUMBERS 1318. 
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Reading Cases for Monthly Numbers, One Shilling. 
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-i 



\ MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE 

NOVEMBER, 1885. 



VASTNESS. 



i. 

MANY a hearth upon our dark globe sighs after many a 

vanished face, 
Many a planet by many a sun may roll with the dust of 

a vanish'd race. 



II. 

Raving politics, never at rest as this poor earth's pale 

history runs, 
What is it all but a trouble of ants in the gleam of a 

million million of suns ? 



in. 

Lies upon this side, lies upon that side, truthless violence 

mourn'd by the Wise, 
Thousands of voices drowning his own in a popular torrent 

of lies upon lies ; 
No. 313. VOL. LIU. B 



Vast ness. 

IV. 

Stately purposes, valour in battle, glorious annals of army 

and fleet, 
Death for the right cause, death for the wrong cause, 

trumpets of victory, groans of defeat; 

v. 
Innocence seethed in her mother's milk, and Charity setting 

the martyr aflame ; 
Thraldom who walks with the banner of Freedom, and recks 

not to ruin a realm in her name. 

VI. 

Faith at her zenith, or all but lost in the gloom of doubts 

that darken the schools ; 
Craft with a bunch of all-heal in her hand, follow' d up by 

her vassal legion of fools ; 

VII. 

Pain, that has crawl' d from the corpse of Pleasure, a worm 

which writhes all day, and at night 
Stirs up again in the heart of the sleeper, and stings him 

back to the curse of the light; 

VIII. 

Wealth with his wines and { his wedded harlots ; Flattery 

gilding the rift of a throne; , 
Opulent Avarice, lean as Poverty; honest Poverty, bare to 

the bone ; 



IX. 

Love for the maiden crown'd with marriage, no regrets for 

aught that has been, 
Household happiness, gracious children, debtless competence, 

golden mean; 

x. 

National hatreds of whole generations, and pigmy spites of 

the village spire ; 
Vows that will last to the last death-ruckle, and vows that 

are snapt in a moment of fire ; 

XI. 

He that has lived for the lust of the minute, and died in 

the doing it, flesh without mind ; 
He that has nail'd all flesh to the Cross, till Self died out 

in the love of his kind ; 

XII. 

Spring and Summer and Autumn and Winter; and all 

these old revolutions of earth ; 
All new-old revolutions of Empire change of the tide 

what is all of it worth ? 

XIII. 

What the philosophies, all the sciences, poesy, varying voices 

of prayer ? 
All that is noblest, all that is basest, all that is filthy 

with all that is fair? 

B 2 



"Fastness. 

XIV. 

What is it all, if we all of us end but in being our own 

corpse-coffins at last, 

Swallow'd in Vastness, lost in Silence, drown' d in the deeps 
of a meaningless Past ? 

xv. 

What but a murmur of gnats in the gloom, or a moment's 
anger of bees in their hive ? 



Peace, let it be ! for I loved him, and love him for ever : 
the dead are not dead but alive. 

TENNYSON. 



CULTURE AND SCIENCE. 1 



IT is with some diffidence that I have 
elected to address you to-day on the 
subject of culture and science. I am 
aware that I shall have to speak about 
matters on which I am imperfectly 
instructed in the presence of masters 
of the craft ; and even to tread ground 
on which the eminent man who opened 
this college five years ago Professor 
Huxley has unfurled the flag of 
occupation. But after all, science and 
culture are subjects of perennial in- 
terest, upon which a good deal may be 
said. And there is perhaps a certain 
fitness in reverting, at the close of our 
first college lustrum, and on a day 
when the memory of our generous 
founder and of our late venerable pre- 
sident, Dr. Heslop, is fresh, to the 
topics in which they were so deeply 
interested. 

But I must, at the outset, guard 
myself against misapprehension. In 
comparing culture and science, I have 
no intention of contrasting the facul- 
ties of arts and science in this or any 
other college. I must claim the 
original right of a speaker to define 
the terms he uses in his own way. 
By science I do not mean merely the 
science of nature ; by culture I do 
not mean merely literary culture. Nor 
is it the object of this address to define 
the position and relations of classics 
and physical science in the school 
curriculum. I am about to speak to 
students of a " miniature University" 
about university studies. And my 
object is to indicate the relations of 
science in the widest sense and let- 
ters to culture. Let us first ask, 
" What is science ? " 

1 An Address delivered at the Distribution 
of Prizes in the Mason College, Birmingham 
(October 1st, 1885), by E. A. Sonnenschein, 
M.A., Professor of Classics, and Chairman of 
the Academic Board. 



By science I understand organised 
knowledge, working by method, based 
on evidence, and issuing in the dis- 
covery of law. By culture I mean the 
complete spiritual development of the 
individual. The object of science is 
exact knowledge ; the object of cul- 
ture is a complete human being. 

Nor can I admit that this view is 
arbitrary. Underlying much con- 
fusion of thought and polemical per- 
versity, I find some such distinction 
as I have indicated present to the 
consciousness of educated men and 
women. 

In contending, then, that the dis- 
tinction between science and culture 
is not coincident with the distinction 
between the study of the external 
universe on the one hand and the 
study of letters on the other, let me 
first try to show that science does not 
exclude letters that letters admit of 
a scientific treatment just as much as 
the phenomena of light or the circula- 
tion of the blood. 

Having given an extended sense to 
the word science, I will indicate the 
part that it plays in culture; and 
finally I will maintain that, though an 
essential factor in culture, it is not the 
only factor. I will try to show that 
science embraces one aspect of letters, 
but is itself only one element in a 
wider conception of culture. 

I do not wish to base my argument 
on authority ; but it is the fashion 
nowadays to appeal on important 
questions to Germany, and I will 
remind you that the word Wissenschaft 
is by no means so restricted in its use 
as our corresponding English word 
" science " sometimes is. Wissenschaft 
scientific knowledge embraces 
philology, philosophy, theology, laws, 
no less than mathematics and the 
branches included under the name 



6 



Culture and Science. 



Naturwissenschaftj chemistry, physics, 
biology, and so on. This is not a mere 
question of terminology ; under dis- 
tinctions of words there generally lie 
distinctions of things, and by this use 
of their word Wissenschaft the Ger- 
mans the most active body of ex- 
plorers in the world declare that 
they regard all these subjects as 
admitting of scientific treatment ; and 
they make it the chief business of 
their Universities to treat them in 
this way. The word arts I cannot 
but regard as unfortunate. It carries 
very little meaning in it. There are 
fine arts, and arts which are not fine. 
There are even black arts. But why 
philology, for instance, should be 
called an art, and medicine a science, 
does not appear, except to the historic 
consciousness. 

My illustrations shall be derived 
chiefly from the subject in which I am 
personally most interested the study 
of classical philology. Classics is a 
wide field, and includes two main divi- 
sions interpretation, and textual 
criticism. It embraces in its scope 
several departments, such as ancient 
history, archaeology, mythology, epi- 
graphy, palaeography. The latter is 
the study of manuscripts, and aims at 
determining the method of deciphering 
them, and the law of error in them. 
The object of the whole of classical 
philology is to restore a picture of 
human life in the Greek and Roman 
world. The object of textual criticism 
is the restoration of texts, the dis- 
covery of what the classical writers 
really said. This it effects by exposing 
the traces of detrition in them, the 
havoc which time and error have 
wrought, and by finding the true 
way of repairing their devastations. 
George Eliot speaks with light 
banter of inventing a few Greek 
emendations, as if emendation were 
mere guesswork, to be thrown off in 
a careless hour for the amusement 
of the world of scholars and the 
advertisement of one's own ingenuity. 
But to emend scientifically is no light 
task. The scholar must employ 



method and proof if his work is to 
claim serious attention. To discover 
that a passage is corrupt, he must have 
found that this word, or this construc- 
tion, or this rhythm, is a barbarism, or 
at any rate is never so used by his 
author ; that this sentiment or allusion 
is an anachronism ; he must, in fact, 
discover or rectify the law of the word, 
the law of the sentence, the law of the 
metre. Here there is plenty of room 
for independent observation. These 
laws are not to be found ready-made in 
grammars ; an emendation really new 
must be based on nothing less than a 
new examination of the facts. The 
proof of corruption of the text lies in 
the application of the resulting laws 
to a particular passage. To emend is 
to form an hypothesis as to the original 
constitution of the passage an hypo- 
thesis which must pass through the 
ordeal of verification by all the known 
laws palseographical, linguistic, his- 
toric, and other. 

Let us not be dominated by the 
phrase "inductive science." Each 
science has its own peculiar methods, 
in which induction and deduction, 
observation and experiment, play 
parts more or less prominent. The 
methods of physics are not identically 
the methods of the so-called natural 
sciences. Mathematics is not usually 
reckoned as an inductive science at 
all. But the methods and results of 
one and all may be equally scientific 
may be alike calculated to carry an 
authoritative power of conviction. 

No doubt the processes of textual 
criticism have been often conducted in 
such a way as to lead to results which 
were tentative, or even purely fanciful. 
But other sciences too have passed 
through an empirical stage. As 
practised nowadays, especially in the 
philological seminaries of Germany, 
textual criticism may claim to rank 
as a science ; its methods are well- 
established, its results definite 
KrrjfjLara es det, wrung from the wil- 
derness of mediaeval barbarism by 
the devoted efforts of armies of scho- 
lars. If a scholar of the sixteenth 



Culture and Science. 



century could come to life, he would 
be astonished at the magnitude of the 
results which have been achieved. 
He would find many a familiar in- 
terpolation exscinded, many a sorry 
gap filled up by probable or certain 
conjectures, many a line nay, even a 
whole author restored to metrical 
form. It is scarcely too much to say 
that the face of classical literature has 
undergone, and is undergoing, a pro- 
cess of renovation. 

I might extend my illustrations al- 
most infinitely. There is comparative 
philology, one of the most brilliant 
examples of what can be effected by 
scientific research in the field of lan- 
guage. It has opened up to us 
glimpses into a past far more remote 
than the beginnings of history ; it has 
given us a far from colourless picture 
of early Aryan civilisation, and a still 
fuller account of the periods when 
the western Aryans separated from 
their eastern kinsfolk. I might quote 
the marvellous discoveries in the 
history of Assyria and Egypt, the 
deciphering of the cuneiform cha- 
racter and the hieroglyphics. There 
is comparative mythology, which has 
brought to light the various deposits 
of nature worship, hero worship, and 
primitive custom embedded in the soil 
of language, like the remains of ex- 
tinct animals in the crust of the earth. 
All these sciences are sisters german 
of anthropology and archaeology. To 
sketch the early condition of man 
many different kinds of evidence must 
be pressed into the service ; and the 
study of language is not the least of 
them. 

By a similar argument I might es- 
tablish the claims of history, of soci- 
ology, of political economy to the name 
of sciences. All the great products of 
human thought and human life may 
form the subject-matter of science, if 
examined on scientific principles. 

Let us, then, cease to oppose one 
subject to another as scientific and 
non-scientific. The distinction is not 
in subjects, but in methods of treating 
them. Let us hold fast to the position 



that science is a particular method of 
treating subjects, leading to results of 
a particular kind. 

I am not going to discuss the ques- 
tion of the school curriculum. But 
even at the risk of seeming to adopt 
the platform that there is " nothing 
like leather," I will say one word 
upon the educational value of these 
studies. If scientific in themselves, 
they may be so taught as to furnish a 
scientific discipline. The highest ideal 
of teaching is that which follows the 
path of discovery, leading the pupil 
along lines which an original dis- 
coverer pursued, or might have pur- 
sued. And I do not know that there 
is any better field for educating the 
logical powers than the scientific treat- 
ment of language and the products of 
literature. Am I confronted with the 
statement that these studies depend on 
authority ? Not, I reply, if they are 
taught and studied rationally. Whose 
authority 1 Not the authority of the 
classics themselves. The days are 
past when men set the classics of 
Greece and Home on an icy pinnacle of 
excellence by themselves, unapproach- 
able by the literary masters of other 
countries. All serious students of the 
classics know, or ought to know, that 
not all the writers of Greece and Rome 
are equally worthy of admiration and 
imitation. Nor would any classical 
teacher, I imagine, claim special con- 
sideration for any opinions expressed 
by these writers. Is it the authority 
of the grammar that is referred to ? I 
reply that a grammar is not the arbi- 
trary creation of schoolmasters, but 
the record of law discovered by the 
patient observation of ages, and liable 
to revision by any independent in- 
quirer into the phenomena of lan- 
guage. No, the doctrine of the in- 
fallibility of the Eton grammar, like 
the doctrine of the plenary inspiration 
of manuscripts, has had its day. I 
believe that so far from fostering a 
blind adherence to authority, there is 
no discipline more helpful in liberating 
the mind from the thraldom of words. 
Hear one, who cannot himself be 



8 



Culture and Science. 



charged with any prejudice in favour 
of authority the late John Stuart 
Mill : " To question all things, never 
to turn away from any difficulty, to ac- 
cept no doctrine either from ourselves 
or from other people without a rigid 
scrutiny by negative criticism ; letting 
no fallacy or incoherence or confusion 
of thought step by unperceived ; above 
all, to insist upon having the meaning 
of a word clearly understood before 
using it, and the meaning of a propo- 
sition before assenting to it these are 
the lessons we learn from ancient 
dialecticians." And again, " In cul- 
tivating the ancient languages. . . . 
we are all the while laying an admir- 
able foundation for ethical and philo- 
sophical culture." 

And this is not the expression of an 
isolated opinion. The unanimous and 
maturely -considered verdict of the 
University of Berlin, contained in the 
memorial addressed in the year 1880 
to the Prussian Minister of Education 
on the question of the admission of 
Realschiiler pupils of modern schools 
to the University, constitutes, per- 
haps, the most important modern tes- 
timony to the value of a classical edu- 
cation. This memorial was signed by 
all the members of the philosophical 
faculty, including such names as 
Hoffmann, the chemist ; Helmholtz, 
the physicist ; Peters, the naturalist ; 
Zeller, the philosopher; as well as 
Mommsen, the classical philologist ; 
Zupitza, the English philologist; 
Curtius, the historian. I am aware 
that the whole of Germany is not 
unanimous upon the educational ques- 
tions raised in the Berlin memorial ; 
but they are nevertheless worthy of 
our most earnest attention. The in- 
teresting point of the memorial is the 
emphasis with which it insists on the 
value of classical philology in cultivat- 
ing what it calls " the ideality of the 
scientific sense, the interest in science 
not dependent upon, nor limited by, 
practical aims, but ministering to the 
liberal education of the mind as such, 
the many-sided and broad exercise of 
the thinking faculty." By science is 



of course here meant not merely the 
science of nature. But the science of 
nature is included. Germany has built 
temples and palaces for the study of 
nature, as Professor Hoffmann says. 
But she cultivates philology side by 
side with nature more assiduously 
than ever; and here we have some 
of her leading physicists and natural- 
ists joining hands with the philologists, 
and coming forward to tell the world 
that they Consider classics not in the 
light of a foe, but rather as a discipline 
of peculiar value as a preparation for 
other scientific pursuits. And the 
German Universities are schools of 
universal learning. Here are a few 
statistics. In the year 1880 the Ger- 
man Universities numbered in all 
eighteen hundred and nine teachers, 
including extraordinary professors and 
Privat-Docenten. Of these, nine hun- 
dred and thirty belonged to the philo- 
sophical faculty, which includes what 
we should call the faculties of science 
and arts. Now, how are these nine 
hundred and thirty teachers distri- 
buted ? About one-third of them re- 
present mathematics and the sciences 
of nature; the other two-thirds are 
engaged upon classical philology, ori- 
ental philology, modern philology (the 
latter two branches are increasing in 
numbers from year to year), arch- 
seology, history, political science, and 
philosophy. The numbers at Leipsic 
were : 

Total of ordinary professors (not includ- 
ing extraordinary professors and Privat- 
Docenten) 34 

f Professors of Classical Philology 5 

Oriental and Modem 

Philology 9 

23 1 Archaeology 2 

History 2 

Philosophy 2 

Political Economy 3 

Mathematics and As- 
tronomy 4 

Physical and Natural 

Science 7 

If we consider the numbers of 
students, the proportions are similar. 
In 1881-82, the German Universities 
numbered about twenty-four thousand 



Culture and Science. 



students ; of these, nine thousand 
five hundred were members of the 
philosophical faculty rather more 
than five students for each professor. 
And the percentages of their distribu- 
tion were : 

Students of Philology, Philoso- 
phy, History, &c 63 per cent. 

Students of Mathematics and 
the Sciences of Nature 37 ,, 

But I must in fairness also mention 
the fact that during forty years the 
students of mathematics and the 
sciences of nature have increased ten- 
fold, while those of philology and his- 
tory have not yet been tripled ; and also 
that of the three-fold increase in stu- 
dents of philology, a large part is due 
to the students of modern philology. 
On the other hand, the ten-fold in- 
crease is largely due to the mathema- 
ticians. And it is a curious fact that 
the study of medicine is not making 
such strides in popular favour as the 
philological and historical sciences. 1 

I cannot give you accurate statistics 
about France or America ; but the 
recent announcement of the prospectus 
of the Johns Hopkins University in 
Baltimore, of no less than thirteen 
advanced courses of lectures in ori- 
ental philology alone, shows that one 
university of the United States, at 
any rate, does not regard physical 
science and philology as inconsistent 
ends. 

The nineteenth century the "so- 
called nineteenth century," as an 
indignant and sarcastic lecturer is said 
to have called it is marked by a 
powerful re-action against the tradi- 
tion of an exclusive classical education. 
France led the way, at the end of last 
century, by abolishing her classical 
schools and setting up polytechnics in 
their place ; and although she soon 
repented and returned to the paths of 
Greek and Latin, recent changes, and 
especially those made under the minis- 
try of M. Jules Ferry in 1880, seem to 
point to another oscillation in the 

1 See Conrad's German Universities for the 
last Fifty Years, translated by J. Hutchison. 



direction of the ideas of the Revolution. 
Germany is agitated by the question of 
modern as against classical education. 
In England, one parliamentary com- 
mission after another has reported 
upon the deficient provision for science 
teaching in our public and endowed 
schools, apparently without much effect 
upon the majority of schools in ques- 
tion. Physical science and modern 
languages are in revolt, demanding 
and demanding justly a fair recogni- 
tion in our school curriculum. The 
claims of their most accredited cham- 
pions are strictly moderate, and the 
enlightened educationist must, I think, 
pronounce their revolt to be completely 
justified, and sympathise with an agi- 
tation the object of which is to remove 
the educational ban laid by our tradi- 
tional system upon the study of nature 
and modern languages. 

But sometimes physical science, 
arrogating the broader name of science, 
takes up an aggressive attitude, and 
exhibits a special animus against what 
it calls "dead languages." "Sweep 
away the lumber of the middle ages," 
it cries ; " cease mumbling of the dry 
bones^ of "your| classics, and open the 
book "of nature." It would appear 
that physical science, like Ireland, 
cannot get her grievances redressed 
without threatening the sister realm. 
But this attitude of aggression is 
essentially of the nature of temporary 
reaction ; its representatives might do 
well to bear in mind that a reaction, 
pushed too far, may provoke a counter 
reaction. 

But this r ^is{by way of digression. 
Permit me to remind you of the general 
drift of my argument. So far I have 
been claiming language and literature 
as departments of science. But this 
was not my main object. My main 
object is to define the relations of 
science and letters to culture. 

Perhaps it is unnecessary for me 
to dwell much upon the importance of 
science as an element of culture. But 
I desire to lay some emphasis upon 
what I may call the formative function 
of science, because in the first place I 



io 



Culture and Science. 



have extended tbe use of the word, 
and in the second place there is one 
point of view in which the man of 
science, and especially the student of 
nature, appears to be often misunder- 
stood. " A mere specialist " has be- 
come a term of reproach. Now I will 
not deny that specialism has its dan- 
gers. We all know the scarabseist of 
Wendell Holmes, who sunk his life 
in beetles, and regarded the man pro- 
fessing to be an entomologist as neces- 
sarily a humbug. There is the classi- 
cal scholar who, as JByron says : 

" Of Grecian dramas _ vaunts the deathless 

fame, 

Of Avon's bard remembering scarce the 
name." 

There is the German student of 
American politics who follows the 
minutest ramifications of parties across 
the Atlantic, but has neither thought 
nor interest for the political problems 
of his own country. Science is long, 
life short. And we are sometimes 
tempted to fear that science may be- 
come so split up like the practical 
arts that every man will be working 
at a branch of the subject which no 
one cares for or can understand except 
himself. 

" Im engen Kreis verengert sich der Sinn," * 

says Goethe. " Culture means com- 
pensation of bias," says Emerson ; and 
in a similar spirit Dr. Martineau, the 
venerable ex-principal of Manchester 
New College, has recently told us that 
he compelled himself when a young 
man to devote his best energies to the 
subjects for which he had no aptitude, 
leaving those for which he had a gift 
to take care of themselves. So con- 
siderable are the dangers of specialism. 
But there is another side to the 
picture. I submit that specialism 
may be claimed as an essential element 
in the life of the mind, and that from 
the point of view of culture. This 
may sound paradoxical ; but a man's 
bias is at least part of himself ; and 
there is something in the consecration 

1 "In a narrow sphere the mind becomes 
narrowed." 



of all the faculties to a limited field, 
which braces the mind and gives it 
intellectual grip. Specialism means 
depth of insight, the probing a subject 
to the core ; it means discovery, it 
means originality. I believe it means 
development of character and growth 
of the capacity for knowledge. Let 
me compare the mind to a house with 
many windows. For a vital compre- 
hension of truth, I would prefer to 
look through one window thoroughly 
cleaned, than through all of them only 
half purified from the obscuring 
medium of error and prejudice. To 
the young student especially I would 
say : " Clean one of your windows ; be 
not content until there is one branch 
of your subject if it be only one 
branch of a branch which you under- 
stand as thoroughly as you are capable 
of understanding it, until your sense 
of truth is satisfied, and you have 
intellectual conviction.' 7 Be assured 
that in learning this one thing you 
will have added an eye to your mind, 
an instrument to your thought, and 
potentially have learned many things. 
In the life of the mature investigator 
specialism plays a similar part ; to 
remain healthy, he must continually 
drink deep at the fountain head ; he 
must go further than others have gone 
before him; and to this end he must 
devote what may seem to outsiders an 
abnormal amount of time and energy 
to his special department. It is too 
common an experience that the man 
of mere general culture loses interest 
in what he "studies ; his mind ranges 
over wide tracts, through which he is 
guided by no central idea or dominant 
conviction ; he acquires a habit of 
thinking, like the typical Oxford man, 
that "there is nothing new, nothing 
true, and it does not much matter." 
The cure for this intellectual ailment 
is concentration. Let the sufferer 
make some little plot of ground his 
own; let him penetrate through and 
beyond the region of literary ortho- 
doxy, and he will find that the universe 
is not exhausted by even the highest 
thoughts of the greatest minds ; that 



Culture and Science. 



11 



truth has ever new lights for the 
inquirer, and that the humble efforts 
of pigmies like himself may by com- 
bination lead to the scaling of heights 
which even giants could not take by 
storm. 

Do not, then, neglect the scientific 
attitude in your studies. Whatever 
it be that you are engaged upon 
whether chemistry or physics, or bio- 
logy or geology, whether mathematics 
or classics, or some modern language 
or literature make it your effort, if 
possible, to be a discoverer, on however 
small a scale, or at any rate to exer- 
cise independent thought. 

I have accentuated the importance 
of the scientific attitude in the develop- 
ment of mind. But a further and 
important question remains. Is the 
scientific attitude the only and all- 
sufficient attitude ? Let us consider 
more closely what the method of 
science involves. The object of science 
is essentially to arrange phenomena 
in the most simple way to introduce 
order into our conceptions of things. 
To effect this, each science adopts a 
single point of view, and is compelled 
to deal with single aspects of things 
employs, in fact, division of labour. For 
to treat all aspects at once would be to 
introduce cross divisions into science, 
and so make it unscientific. Thus 
mathematics, for instance, deals with 
things from the point of view of 
number and space ; physics treats 
them as exhibiting energy ; chemistry 
as compounded or uncompounded ; 
biology as living ; psychology as think- 
ing and feeling ; sociology as living in 
societies or states. Comte sketched 
out a pyramid of the sciences, in which 
they were arranged in a sort of hier- 
archy of complexity ; at the base the 
most general and simple, at the apex 
the most special and complex. But, 
whether more or less complex, each 
science deals with its one aspect of 
things, and that only. No single 
science can exhaust even the smallest 
concrete thing. A piece of chalk 
represents for the physicist a certain 
group of forces ; for the chemist certain 



elements combined in certain propor- 
tions ; for the geologist a certain stage 
in the history of the earth's crust. 
To the political economist man is 
wealth-producing, for political eco- 
nomy deals mainly with human nature 
as concerned in wealth. Each science, 
then, consciously limits its view, in 
order that it may give a more com- 
plete account of one phase of things 
directs its energies into one channel 
in order to give force to the stream. 
In other words, science is abstract. 

But man is not content always to 
confine his view to aspects of things ; 
he needs also to regard them as 
wholes. It is true that the several 
sciences to a certain extent supple- 
ment one another. The man who is 
acquainted with physics, chemistry, 
geology, and other sciences, has an 
insight into several aspects of the 
same lump of chalk. But still the 
unity, the wholeness, may be missed. 
For, though the whole is made up of its 
parts, it cannot be conceived by addi- 
tion of isolated conceptions of parts. 
This has been expressed with fine 
sarcasm by Goethe's Mephistopheles : 

" Wer will was Lebendig's erkennen und 

beschreiben, 

Sucht erst den Geist herauszutreiben, 
Dann hat er die Theile in seiner Hand, 
Fehlt leider nur das geistige Band. " * 

How, then, are we to grasp the 
" spirit that binds things together 2 " 
The answer is, by another than the 
scientific method by the method of 
poetry. Science analyses and arranges 
according to special aspects ; poetry 
bodies forth conceptions of wholes, 
rejecting all definition by limitation, 
sacrificing detail for breadth. The 
poet's aim is to build up again in his 
own soul the unity of things, which 
science is always breaking down ; to 
find in the universe an object which 
can satisfy the claims of his emotional 
as well as his intellectual, nature. 

1 "The man who seeks to know and de- 
scribe a living thing first drives the spirit out 
of it : he then holds the parts in his hand ; 
but alas ! the spirit that bound them together 
has departed." 



12 



Cultilre and Science. 



Thus, if in one sense it is true that 
poetry always lags a little behind 
science, turning the laborious results 
of one generation into the fairy 
tales of the next, in another sense 
poetry anticipates science ; the vision 
of the poet dimly traces out the lines 
along which the science of the future 
will march. Shall I seem to be trying 
to run with the hare and hunt with 
the hounds, if I say that some of the 
highest generalisations of science 
appear to me to be in large degree 
of the nature of poetry anticipations 
of nature, conceived and believed long 
before anything like adequate evi- 
dence was forthcoming 'I I would 
name the doctrines of the conserva- 
tion of energy and the evolution of 
life. The latter may be read, in a 
somewhat archaic form, in the philo- 
sophic poem of Lucretius, written 
nearly two thousand years ago ; and I 
can well believe that it was present 
to Darwin as a poetic idea before he 
conceived of the exact method of its 
demonstration. 

No doubt poetry must renounce the 
severity and caution of which science 
is so justly proud. For the objects at 
which the poet " throws out "his con- 
ception are too great to be compassed 
by definition, and his ideas will often 
be pronounced faulty by the future 
researcher. But he is content in his 
own sphere of work that of a maker 
or creator knowing that his results, 
too, are unapproachable by the scien- 
tific man. No amount of psychology 
would create a Hamlet. 

And, if the results of poetry are 
different from those of science, so is 
the form into which the poet throws 
his ideas. He does not aim at an 
iron rigidity of logical proof, but 
rather at a lightness of touch which 
hints rather than demonstrates, veils 
while it unveils. The ideal of science 
is exhaustive demonstration; that of 
poetry imaginative creation. The poet 
does not attempt to give new know- 
ledge ; rather he takes the reader into 
partnership, and tries, by the power 
of sympathy, to awaken his slumber- 



ing conceptions. And the products 
of literature can be apprehended only 
imaginatively. If we seek for demon- 
stration, we find emptiness. I know 
of a young man, trained in mathe- 
matics and Latin grammar, who pa- 
tiently almost pathetically read and 
re-read his Sartor Resartus in the hope 
of finding a syllogism or some sem- 
blance of a proposition of Euclid in it, 
and who did not understand it. Like 
the mathematical reader of Paradise 
Lost, he could not make out that it 
proved anything. Perhaps it would 
not be going too far to say that, in 
the interests of science itself, we 
ought to cultivate the capacity for a 
non-scientific attitude. For the first 
attitude in approaching an object, 
whether natural or literary, should be 
a receptive one. The widening of 
one's experience, letting things tell 
their own tale, even the attitude of 
mere passive enjoyment, will often 
carry the beginner further in under- 
standing than a relentless search for 
law. 

Nature, then, is not exhausted by 
the most complete inquiry into her 
laws taken separately. It still re- 
mains to conceive her as a whole to 
apprehend her by the imagination ; 
and some of her secrets reveal them- 
selves less to the microscope than to 
the poetic eye. " This most excellent 
canopy, the air, look you, this brave 
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical 
roof fretted with golden fire" how 
many a digger and delver in the cause 
of science has presented to them a 
mind petrified by absorption in a fixed 
idea, and insensible to their magic 1 
" We live by admiration " is one of 
the favourite texts of Wordsworth. 
The scientist seeks not to live, but to 
reduce things to his categories of 
thought. Like Mr. Browning's Para- 
celsus : 

" He still must hoard and keep and class all 

truths 
With one ulterior purpose : he must know. " 

To him nature is indeed never a mere 
" pestilential congregation of vapours." 



Culture and Science. 



13 



For there is the beauty of her law 
ever unfolding itself before his eyes ; 
" the heavens " it has been said, " de- 
clare to him the glory of Kepler and 
Newton." But this is not all their 
glory. He must have something of 
the poetic mind if he would feel the 
awe and rapture with which Kant 
gazed upon the starry heavens, and 
Linnaeus upon the gorse in blossom ; if 
he would see nature as she paints 
herself upon the canvas of Turner ; 
if he would love her as Words- 
worth loved her. Otherwise the soul 
of nature escapes his ken ; we may 
say of Nature what Schiller says of 
truth generally : 

" Dich zu fangen, ziehen sie aus mit Netzen 

und Stangen, 

Aber mit Geistestritt schreitest du mitten 
hindurch." 1 

Let me further illustrate this diffe- 
rence of attitude in dealing with the 
products of literature. The scientific 
observer brings them into the field of 
the grammatical microscope or the 
historic telescope. But their aroma is 
apt to vanish in the process. One may 
have ransacked the Iliad and the 
Odyssey to discover the development 
of a mood or a particle, while remain- 
ing wall-eyed to the beauty of these 
poems ; one may be an authority on 
the Homeric question without having 
known Homer. I would not call such 
a man a pedant ; but I would say that 
he has confined himself to one aspect 
of the poet and missed his poetry. A 
fair country lies around him, waiting 
for illumination from the dawn of 
poetic imagination. He gropes in it, 
guided only by the uncertain beams of 
his grammatical candle. For to enter 
into the conceptions of the poet, one 
must be something of a poet oneself ; 
one needs, at any rate, some literary 
experience. A sense of humour is 
one thing ; an inquiry into the 
humorous the rationale of humour 
is quite another. 

1 "To catch thee they take the field with 
nets and poles ; but thou, like a spirit, passest 
through the midst of them. " 



I think a protest is needed at 
the present day against an exclusive 
devotion to the scientific side of 
literature, and especially of classical 
literature. The laws and history of 
the classical languages are the main 
objects of work in our classical 
schools and universities ; grammar 
tends to replace literature, prosody 
is substituted for poetry, and little 
room is left for the play of con- 
templative imagination. This perhaps 
cannot be otherwise so long as we live 
under the whips and scorpions of an 
exigent examination system ; for the 
scientific side of literature presents 
obvious advantages, in the examination 
room, both to examiners and exami- 
ned. Literary culture, like astronomy, 
does not pay. So our students learn 
to translate and compose, but not to 
read or appreciate; and the literary 
artists are approached through the 
medium of what the scientific scholars 
have said about them. It is commonly 
believed abroad that the English man 
of business, or country squire, re- 
freshes his soul during the long winter 
evenings by reading his Yirgil or 
Horace. This is, I am told, an ex- 
aggeration, and likely to be less true 
since it has ceased to be the fashion 
for members of Parliament to quote 
Horace in the House or at any rate 
to quote him correctly. However, in 
the treatment of the classics as litera- 
ture, we might perhaps do well to 
remember the best traditions of Eng- 
lish scholarship, and emulate the wider 
and more liberal reading of the age 
of Bentley. 

Again in history we have the same 
two elements the scientific and the 
purely literary. I have no wish to 
depreciate the great achievements of 
scientific history a science which has 
resulted in discoveries as instructive 
as those of palaeontology or geology. 
It is an admirable thing to weigh 
evidence, and to correct hasty judg- 
ments by fuller research ; but history, 
written in this spirit only, loses its 
power of inspiration, of kindling the 
imagination at the thought of great 



Culture and Science. 



deeds and great men, and of carrying 
the reader on the wings of sympathy 
into a remote past. And this its 
dramatic or poetic function is surely 
one at least of the functions of history. 

Here then you have my conception 
.of the prime essentials of culture in 
the two attitudes of mind the scien- 
tific and the poetic. Intellectual man- 
hood is not reached till concentration, 
exact inquiry, begins ; but the mind 
grows poor without the poetical spirit. 
There is one truth of science, and an- 
other of poetry, and both are indispens- 
able. But it is not many subjects that 
are needed for culture ; rather it is a 
manysidedness of mind by which to 
conceive things both scientifically and 
imaginatively. To maintain this two- 
fold attitude is, I know, not easy. 
Men inspired with the ardour of pur- 
suit, and conscious of the limitless field 
of research right ahead, may say with 
Luther, " God help me, I can no 
other ; " and he would be a bold man 
who ventured to cast a stone at them. 

" The ink of science," says a Mo- 
hammedan proverb, " is more precious 
than the blood of martyrs." But the 
victories of science too have been 
achieved not without sweat and blood. 
Let us not fail to remember the cost 
to the intellectual martyrs them- 
selves. They have nobly served hu- 
manity ; but they have sacrificed their 
own development. The Nemesis is in- 
evitable ; we cannot, for our own sakes, 
afford to be less than cultured. Nay, 
we cannot afford to be less than cul- 
tured for others' sakes. Culture as 
well as science has its altruistic side. 
Society is the gainer by every com- 
plete unit that is added to it, and 
enriched by every ideal human 
creature. 

I do not mean to say that he who 
commands both attitudes of mind 
possesses all knowledge. Man's mind 
I have compared to a house with 
many windows : some of them, let us 
say, look out upon the trees and 
flowers of the garden ; others are 
turned towards the street, crowded 
with human life ; its skylights look 



upon the heavens. Doubtless it were 
a grand thing to have knowledge of 
all the great objects of human con- 
templation ; but we must recognise the 
limitations of our nature, and renounce 
the impossible. 

On the other hand, we may con- 
sole ourselves with the reflection 
that one subject deeply studied in- 
volves examination of others. No man 
can thoroughly probe a difficult ques- 
tion of law without coming upon 
problems of morals, politics, and 
religion ; no one can carry his re- 
searches into language far without 
solving on the way many a question 
of logic and even metaphysics. In this 
way one science leads over to another ; 
and the specialist is not so incomplete 
as he is sometimes supposed to be. 
His knowledge stretches itself out in 
many directions, like the branches of 
a tree, which spring from a single 
trunk and are centred in it. Still no 
man can be a master of all sciences. 

But there is one kind of knowledge 
of which we must all take account 
all must be students in the school of 
life and manners. Some practical ex- 
perience of men and affairs is essential 
to character and social refinement. 

" Es bildet em Talent sich in der Stille ; 
Sich. ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt." 1 

For those who have not yet stepped 
forth into the arena of public life, 
there is the microcosm of school or 
college in which they may learn many 
of the lessons which the great world 
teaches. This social life is a hardly 
less important feature of n. college than 
the lecture room. And I hope that 
while in the latter you will imbibe 
something more than you can get from 
books, catching the contagion of the 
lecture room and laboratory the vis 
viva of nascent thought you will, by 
contact with one another in the com- 
mon rooms and Union, gain that edu- 
cation of which Oxford and Cambridge 
are so justly proud the experience of 
the world, which makes a man. 

1 " Genius develops in retirement ; a 
character in the stream of life." GOETHE. 



Culture and Science. 



15 



Let me cast a brief glance upon the 
general aim and purport of what I 
have said. The prime essentials of cul- 
ture are science and poetry ; and they 
may be cultivated without spreading 
ourselves impartially over the whole 
field of knowledge, without ascetically 
denying our special bent. One branch 
of either of the great departments, 
nature and literature, may give us 
scope for both energies of soul ; but 
the student of nature cannot be inde- 
pendent of the aid of poetry, unless, 
indeed, he is a poet himself. Farther, 
in resigning claims to universal know- 
ledge, we may remember that to 
command one department is to com- 
mand many potentially, and even 
involves inquiry into, and partial grasp 
of, subjects lying outside it. Finally, 
life is long enough to admit of our 
making practical experience of our 
fellow men, without which we our- 
selves are scarcely human. 

I do not know whether my concep- 
tion of the distinction between science 
and poetry will be accepted. I am 
aware that some philosophers even 
Plato give a very different account of 
poetry, reducing it to mere imitation 
and subjective fancy. The position of 
co-ordinator which I have given to 
poetry is assigned by Plato to 
dialectic, that is, philosophy, which 
he calls the " coping stone of the 
sciences." But I think you will agree 
with me that there is a difference 
between poetry and science, and that 
both are essential elements of culture. 
And perhaps what Plato means by 
" philosophy " is not. after all, so very 
different from what I mean by poetry 
from the highest kind of poetry. 
Philosophy might be called poetry 
in undress. The late Mark Patti- 
son spoke of philosophy as a dis- 
position, a method oL conceiving 
things not a series of demonstra- 
ble propositions. In this sense it 
means the power of escaping from 
one's own limitations, and of rising to 
higher conceptions ; the capacity of 
reverence for the wider universe of 
which one's positive knowledge touches 



merely the fringe ; the saving know- 
ledge by which man corrects the 
tendencies to intellectual arrogance : 
and this is what I mean by poetry. 

Plato prophesied, half seriously, that 
the State would never cease from ill 
till philosophers became kings, or 
kings philosophers. For the academic 
workers of the future I do not 
demand royal prerogatives. But if 
the University is worthy of its calling 
the people will look to it for intellec- 
tual light and leading. England is 
waking up to the paramount import- 
ance of education ; to this question 
the new Democracy is sure to turn 
with increasing earnestness. Is it 
too much to hope that the University 
will hold its position at the helm of 
the educational system? From the 
University the nation will expect 
guidance in developing the education 
of the people ; and if it is not to be 
false to its trust, it must take up the 
problem of education in a serious, in a 
scientific spirit. Teaching may be 
called a science or an art ; but the 
enlightened know that it admits of 
definite principles and of progress ; 
and progress, even in details, involves 
far-reaching consequences to millions. 
In the science of education England is 
far behind the foremost nations of 
Europe perhaps behind America. 
This deficiency is nothing less than a 
"national calamity." To faulty and 
antiquated methods of teaching we 
may safely attribute much of that ill- 
success in the race of life of which we 
have recently heard such just com- 
plaints. The future of England hangs 
not only on the recognition of physical 
science, but far more upon the creation 
of a high ideal of teaching, and the 
total abolition of that senseless ingur- 
gitation of compendious statements, 
which has usurped its place in the 
national consciousness. 

I am drawing near the conclusion 
of my task. I fear I have already 
taxed your patience too far. One 
word in conclusion. 

A genial bishop was in the habit of 
inquiring from his candidates for 



16 



Culture and Science. 



ordination whether they were married. 
" Happy man !" cried the prelate if the 
answer was given in the affirmative ; 
if in the negative, his formula of 
benediction was, " Lucky dog." In a 
similar spirit I would address the 
younger members of this college who 
have elected to be members of the 
faculties of science or the faculties of 
arts respectively. Those of you who 
pursue physical science have before 
you a sphere worthy of all the highest 
energies of the mind. You will come 
into direct contact with Nature get 
to know her, not at second-hand from 
her blurred reflection in books, but 
face to face. The field on which the 
victories of physical science have been 
won is teeming with problems of the 
widest bearing on many questions of 
the day social, religious, and philo- 
sophical, as well as natural. To the 
scientific man belongs the " spirit of 
the great world brooding upon things 
to come." In a very true sense, his 
is the future. 

To the students of what I must still 
call arts, I would say : You are about 



to make personal acquaintance with 
the great minds of the past. Before 
you there will unfold itself a rich and 
manifold life, to which you may be 
brought very near. The inheritance 
of the past is yours, and in the litera- 
ture of your own and other countries 
you may study the great generalisa- 
tions of science, clarified by their pas- 
sage through great minds, turned to 
shape and incorporated in the con- 
sciousness of the race by the pen of 
poet and philosopher. 

" Happy the man," sang Virgil, 
" who has gained a knowledge of the 
causes of things, and trampled all fear 
under foot, and risen above relentless 
Fate and the hungry clamour of death. 
Yet not less blest is he who knows 
the rustic gods even Pan, and old 
Silvanus, and the sister nymphs." 

Thrice happy he who has strength 
" to do these things, and not to leave 
the others undone." Firmly centred 
in the present, he reaches a hand both 
to the past and to the future. He is, 
the true " heir of all the ages," 



17 



AUSTRIA'S POLICY IN THE EAST. 



BEFORE proceeding to examine the 
position which Austria has assumed 
in the East, it will be profitable to 
consider the course she has pursued 
since the Six Weeks' War thrust her 
forth from the German Confederation. 
In doing so, more regard must be had 
for material facts than for the diplo- 
matic bye-play and false lights which 
have been employed to conceal the true 
intent of her designs and course of 
policy. The exclusion of Austria from 
the German Bund having left her states- 
men without a field for their diplomatic 
activity in the west, impelled them 
to seek new openings in the south- 
east for the exercise of the propensity 
to meddle in their neighbours' affairs 
which has been a dominating vice in 
the policy of the House of Hapsburg. 
The early intentions of Count Beust, 
on succeeding to the direction of 
Austro-Hungarian affairs in 1866, 
though calculated to disturb the poli- 
tical status quo in the East so far as 
the unprogressive Turkish rule in 
Europe was concerned, appear to have 
been founded on a statesmanlike and 
true perception of the necessities of 
the time. The Christian populations 
of the Ottoman Empire were for the 
first time awakening to the need of 
higher political organisation, in which 
freer scope than the Turk permitted 
should be found for their intellectual 
and material development. The Ser- 
vian, Bulgarian, and Hellenic races, 
groaning through centuries of despot- 
ism under a power alien alike in blood 
and religion, were becoming restless, 
and striving, feebly though it may 
have been, to throw off the hateful 
yoke. It was in sympathy with their 
aspirations and needs that the inten- 
tions of Count Beust were conceived, 
and they were such as must have met 
with the approval of liberal-minded 
No. 313. VOL. LIII. 



men both in England and Europe at 
large. But in lending a helping hand 
to the Christians of the Turkish 
dominions in Europe, Count Beust 
contemplated no violent attack on 
that shadowy fetish of British poli- 
ticians for so many years after the 
substance had ceased to exist the 
integrity and independence of the 
Ottoman Empire. A semi-political 
independence under the sovereignty of 
the Sultan was all that was aimed at. 
It is not necessary here to specu- 
late on what might have been the 
issue of this change ; suffice it to 
say that it was a solution at once 
legitimate and eminently pacific. But 
it did not meet the views of the court 
party at. Vienna, which had not yet 
recovered from the wound to its pride 
and obstinacy inflicted by the forced 
concession of Hungarian legislative 
independence; nor did it enjoy the 
approval of the moving spirit which 
controls from Berlin the destinies of 
Austria. Foreign and internal in- 
fluences, both hostile to his policy in 
the East, helped to bring about Count 
Beust's downfall, and paved the way 
for the advent to power of Count 
Andrassy and the tortuou's courses 
which have led to the position in 
which Austria now finds herself, 
whence to retrograde or to advance 
is equally difficult and dangerous. 

The first steps of the Andrassy policy 
in the East were not, however, of too 
pronounced a character, nor did they 
by any means indicate the full inten- 
tions of the new Chancellor ; though 
had the Turks, who were more imme- 
diately concerned, been possessed of 
greater political foresight, they must 
have discerned the dangers ahead. 
The methods adopted were peaceful, 
though it can hardly be supposed that 
they were misunderstood by Russia. 

c 



18 



Austria's Policy in the East 



Steamers directed from Triest, took pos- 
session of both the coasting and foreign 
trade of Turkey. The Danube traffic 
was monopolised by a company subsi- 
dised from Vienna. The foreign and 
internal postal system, except at Con- 
stantinople, was almost completely in 
the hands of the Austrian Lloyd's, and 
controlled by Austrian officials. But 
the Turks remained blind to the 
dangers of the situation, and made 
no effort to extricate themselves from 
the meshes of the net Austria was in- 
sensibly weaving round them. It is 
true that under English auspices 
attempts were made to develop the 
postal system for the benefit of the 
Ottoman Government ; but such was 
the obstruction offered by Turkish 
officials, in many cases prompted 
from outside, that no practical re- 
sult was possible. The power which 
the apathy and indifference of 
the Turkish Administration in this 
way placed in the hands of the 
Austrian Government was unlimited. 
The markets of Turkey were inundated 
with Vienna wares and Austrian 
manufactures of the cheapest and 
most inferior descriptions ; their cheap- 
ness enabling them to completely oust 
British and other goods from markets 
in which the latter had once enjoyed 
the monopoly. The Danube commerce 
became almost exclusively Austrian ; 
and the traveller in the East found no 
other means of voyaging from port to 
port but in vessels flying the nag of 
the empire-kingdom. The Turkish 
banner was nowhere seen. The in- 
fluence conferred by the control of the 
postal system of the Ottoman Empire 
was less obvious and legitimate, but 
infinitely greater. How many who 
have resided in the East or travelled 
there can tell of correspondence de- 
layed or missing ! No government of 
Europe knew more of the secrets of 
the East than that of the Kaiser 
Franz Josef, with its control of the 
mail bags and the telegraph wires 
carrying the news of the East to the 
West. The exceptional means of in- 
formation which it thus possessed 



enabled the Austrian Cabinet, or, more 
properly speaking, the Austrian Chan- 
cellor, to follow at ease every phase in 
the development of affairs in the Sul- 
tan's dominions, and to strike in with 
the effect possible only for those 
familiar with each spring of action. 
The first active steps of Austria in 
bringing on the disintegration of the 
Turkish Empire, which was solemnly 
registered at Berlin in 1878, were 
taken in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
The movements of the Panslavists in 
Bulgaria through their committees at 
Bucharest and in Russia were well 
known, and their aims thoroughly 
understood, at Vienna. Accordingly, 
in 1875, measures leading to a rising 
in Herzegovina were planned. Agents 
provocateurs were sent to prepare the 
way. The visit of the Emperor of 
Austria to Dalmatia in April of that 
year, and his reception of deputa- 
tions from Herzegovina, were details 
diligently and elaborately carried 
out. Their meaning, however, was not 
hidden entirely from the Turks, whose 
suspicions appear to have been now 
effectually roused. -In May, just after 
the Austrian Emperor had returned 
from Dalmatia, the Turks began send- 
ing ammunition, arms, accoutrements, 
and clothing for troops in large quanti- 
ties by rail from Salonica to Mitrovitza, 
whence they were despatched to depots 
in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This unex- 
pected action caused much speculation 
among the Austrian agents who were 
scattered over the country; and the 
reinforcement of the garrisons in those 
provinces caused the 'Austrian Govern- 
ment to send a special diplomatic 
agent to report on the actual state of 
affairs. The personage selected for 
this duty was the celebrated Baron 
Hiibner, on whom the Emperor Napo- 
leon inflicted the slight at that memor- 
able New Year's reception of 1859 
which heralded the War of Italian In- 
dependence. At Serajevo, Baron Hiib- 
ner found the now well-known Dervish 
Pasha in command, and was received 
by him with all the honours, and invited 
to a review of the troops composing 



Policy in the East. 



19 



the garrison. The incident which 
occurred after the review, as described 
by an eyewitness, was striking, and 
must have suggested some suspicion 
of the Turkish commander to the 
mind of the Austrian envoy. In 
replying to the compliments of the 
Baron on the appearance of his troops, 
the wily little Pasha said, " Yes, 
Excellency ! You see here men devoted 
to the defence of their country against 
every foe, and who can go for twenty- 
four hours on a drink of water ! " 
From Serajevo the Baron continued 
his journey to Mitrovitza by Novi 
Bazar, stopping at various places on 
the route where he was enabled to 
communicate with the numerous 
agents of his Government. From 
Mitrovitza he travelled by special 
train to Salonica. Here he remained 
but three days ; but during this brief 
period he was subjected to a slight from 
the Turkish Yali or Governor-General 
of the Province. On his making an 
official call on the Yali, who had been 
duly notified beforehand, accompanied 
by the personnel of the Consulate, the 
Turkish functionary did not accord 
him the honour due to his position by 
meeting him at the door of the recep- 
tion room. An altercation ensued, 
which was terminated by the offended 
Ba-ron abruptly leaving the Konak 
with his suite. Explanations which 
were accepted as satisfactory were 
made by the Yali, and the difficulty 
was smoothed over. Returning from 
Salonica t.he Austrian envoy travelled 
only as far as Uskub by rail. From 
there he took post horses to Belgrade 
by way of Nisch. On the day follow- 
ing his arrival at the Servian capital 
the insurrection in Bosnia and Herze- 
govina broke out. 

Skilfully manipulated, the telegraph 
wires under Austrian control conveyed 
to the western capitals facts and state- 
ments calculated to impress the idea 
that the rising against the authority 
of the Sultan was entirely due to 
Russian emissaries and Panslav com- 
mittees. But close observers saw be- 
hind Ljubobratich and many others, 



whose names the events of the day 
made familiar to the English public, 
the hands of the Austrian. The 
thousands of refugees who found tem- 
porary shelter during the troublous 
times on Austrian soil were, in most 
cases, refugees by instigation. Their 
hospitable reception, and the few 
thousands of pounds expended in their 
maintenance, were among the claims 
for which Austria was afterwards 
indemnified at Berlin in 1878. At 
the same time, with an impartiality 
for which sufficient credit can hardly 
be awarded her, the way was made 
smooth for the suppression of the 
insurrection by the Turks ; and the 
Salonica-Mitrovitza railway, a line 
owned in Austria and managed by 
Austrian officials, was entirely at the 
disposition of the Turkish Government, 
whose troops, supplies, and stores were 
carried over it on credit. With evi- 
dence, ample and convincing, of the 
aims of Austria before them, it was 
but a question of time how soon the 
Panslav party in Russia, and later on 
the Russian Government itself, should 
throw themselves into the struggle 
which was manifestly impending. The 
Montenegrin and Servian wars in 
1876 ; the abortive rising in Bulgaria, 
and the massacres south of the Balkans 
in the same year ; the conference at 
Constantinople, where the peculiar line 
of policy which characterised thfl deal- 
ings of Lord Beaconsh'eld's Cabinet 
with the Porte up to its overthrow in 
1880 first disclosed itself were all 
strands in the thread of policy directed 
from Yienna and woven at Berlin. 
Assuredly, had the Emperor of Russia 
and his advisers foreseen the ultimate 
issue to which events were tending, 
they might even at the last moment 
have stayed their hand. But it had 
not yet been made clear to them that 
the way to Constantinople lay through 
Yienna. The Panslav party, which, 
in its hatred of the Turk, aimed di- 
rectly at the destruction of his detested 
rule over their co-religionists and 
brothers in race, had swept away by 
its enthusiasm what power of resist- 

c 2 



20 



Austria's Policy in the East. 



ance there was in the autocracy. The 
heart of the Turk was hardened by 
his pride, and the conflicting official 
and non-official advice of England pre- 
disposed him to stiffen his neck. The 
struggle which such conditions rendered 
inevitable could not be long averted, 
and the war, which was officially de- 
clared on the twenty-third of April, 
1877, was in the natural course of 
events. 

No one who saw the Ernperor Alex- 
ander the Second at the conclusion 
of the review of his troops on that 
memorable day, on the Bessarabian 
plain of Ungheni, when he gave 
the final orders for the passage of 
the Pruth, could fail to perceive 
how deeply he seemed to feel the re- 
sponsibility and importance of the 
event. The shadow of the future 
appeared already to have been cast 
across his path as he quitted the 
group of his generals, and, passing 
quickly between the lines of people 
who had collected at the railway 
station, entered the train which was 
to carry him back to his capital. 
Compared with previous wars, the 
military circumstances in which 
Russia entered on the last conflict 
with Turkey were immeasurably 
greater in her favour. There were 
then no tedious marches over desert 
wastes, but railways, fairly organised, 
brought the invading army to the 
very banks of the Danube ; while the 
alliance with Roumania seemed to 
guarantee every facility which the 
situation demanded for a successful 
and speedy issue. Why, then, did 
something akin to paralysis appear 
to enfeeble the arm of Russia? The 
answer is simple. The equivocal atti- 
tude of Austria weighed like a night- 
mare on the counsellors of the Emperor. 
It is true Prince Bismarck had declared 
that the Eastern Question did not call 
for the active intervention of Ger- 
many ; and that Austria had virtually 
thrown over Turkey in refusing to 
carry out, in conjunction with Eng- 
land and France (who also repudiated 
her engagement), the tripartite treaty 



of 1856, which guaranteed the in- 
tegrity and independence of the Otto- 
man Empire. Nevertheless, the hand 
of Austria pressed heavily on the arm 
of the Czar. Very soon after the 
declaration of war, Austria had made 
it clear to the Russian Government 
that their operations were to be 
strictly confined to Turkish territory. 
Any attempt of Servia to take up 
arms in aid of Russia was frus- 
trated by the threat of an occupation 
of Belgrade by Austrian troops, and 
Roumanian soil was to be respected 
on condition that the Roumanian ter- 
ritory west of the Aluta was not made 
the base of active operations against 
the Turks in Bulgaria. The effect of 
this was doubly favourable to the 
Turks, who, relieved from menace to 
their left flank, were enabled, leaving 
but twelve thousand men to hold 
Widdin, to concentrate the whole of 
their strength on the centre and right 
of their line of defence. Indecision 
was perceptible in the Russian con- 
duct and counsels throughout the 
whole campaign. Doubts of Germany, 
and absolute distrust of Austria, hin- 
dered vigorous action on the part of 
the Russian generals ; while the Turk, 
stimulated to resistance by false assur- 
ances of English support, and buoyed 
up by deceitful promises, was bleeding 
at every pore. When, finally, with 
Russia well-nigh exhausted and Turkey 
prostrate, Servia was released from 
the leash, it was because Austria's end 
was served, and neither combatant 
could be much benefited or more 
gravely injured by withholding the 
feeble principality. The aim of Austria 
was but to prevent Servia from being 
employed as a base for the operation of 
Russian influence on the Slavs of 
Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, and 
Macedonia those provinces on which 
her covetous eye had been so long fixed. 
The fall of Plevna, the subsequent 
passage of the Balkans, the complete 
and irretrievable collapse of the Turk- 
ish defence, and the appearance of 
Skobeleff's division, reduced and fever- 
stricken as it was, before Constant!- 



Austria's Policy in the East. 



21 



nople, were but details in the hastening 
of the crisis which brought into play 
the combinations resulting in the Con- 
gress of Berlin. In these combinations 
we now know the predominating force 
was exercised by the Austro-German 
and English plenipotentiaries. Con- 
stantinople lay within reach of the 
hand of Russia, but that hand was 
powerless. Englishmen have been 
pleased to believe that the British 
fleet at Constantinople and Gallipoli 
was what deterred the Russians from 
entering the capital of the Sultan ; 
but the belief was a fond and nat- 
tering delusion. The invisible cord 
which withheld the hand of Russia 
was drawn in Berlin through Vienna. 
The certainty of the entry of an 
Austrian army into Moldavia and 
Bessarabia was the real obstacle to 
the Russian advance, which the 
British fleet alone was impotent to 
prevent. The Russian army was ever 
compelled to look behind it, always 
seeing the shadow of the concealed 
hand it had cause to dread. The writer 
vividly calls to mind an incident which 
occurred at Constantinople while the 
Russian troops were bivouacked in 
sight of its minarets. He paid a visit 
one evening, in the company of a 
friend, to Skobeleff, who was confined 
to his bed by an attack of fever. 
Despite his malady, the general was 
deep in the study of some military 
work, but on the names of his visi- 
tors being announced he sprang up in 
his couch to receive them, and almost 
the first question he put to the writer 
was " What is Austria doing 1 " a 
sufficient indication of the apprehen- 
sions disturbing the counsels and 
paralysing the action of Russia. In- 
formation of a trustworthy character 
had just then been received at Con- 
stantinople, and it was known both 
at the Russian headquarters and at the 
Sublime Porte that a partial mobili- 
sation of the Austrian army was 
imminent, and that the occupation of 
Bosnia and Servia on one hand, and of 
Jassy and various points in Moldavia 
on the other, were contemplated. So 



serious a menace was one the Russian 
army, crippled though victorious, was 
unable to despise ; and so it came 
to pass that, under the pressure of 
Austria and Germany, Russia submit- 
ted to enter the congress chamber at 
Berlin, to sacrifice all that nigh a 
century of intrigue and war had gained. 
With the details and results of the 
Berlin settlement all who followed 
the reports of the proceedings of the 
Congress are familiar. Of the fact 
that what was believed to be a settle- 
ment is proving but a truce, most, if 
they had not already foreseen it, are 
now becoming convinced. Races and 
communities delivered from an inert 
barbaric despotism were partitioned 
and carved out to suit the -selfish 
ambitions of certain governments, 
and the political exigences of the 
moment. A condition of things fore- 
doomed to perish was created from 
the Danube to the ^Egean and from 
the Black Sea to the Adriatic. The 
opportunity of settling the Eastern 
difficulty on a just and stable basis 
was thrown away with a recklessness 
inconceivable except by those who 
understood that a sense of right and 
political morality were absent from 
the council board over which Prince 
Bismarck presided. The opportunity 
of re-integrating each race within its 
rights vanished. The Bulgarians were 
divided into three sections. The Greeks 
were betrayed, while false hopes were 
dangled before their eyes* Albania, 
distracted by intrigue of every kind, 
was left a prey to anarchy and mis- 
rule. Bosnia and Herzegovina, against 
the will and in spite of the heroic 
resistance of their peoples, were given 
over to Austria, who virtuously pre- 
tended bashful compliance with the 
"will of Europe," conscious that it 
was her own action which had pro- 
duced the "disorder" which she was 
called in by accomplices to put down. 
Montenegro, which had maintained 
for centuries its independence against 
the Turk, was virtually handed over to 
Austria by the twenty-ninth Article 
of the Berlin Treaty. Macedonia was 



22 



Austria's Policy in the 



left, with its conglomerate population 
of Serb, Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, 
Wallach, and Moslem, to ferment to a 
degree of anarchy sufficient to require 
the orderly hand of the Austrian 
bureaucracy to restore tranquillity 
and cover it with their "civilising 
influences." 

The creation of the autonomous pro 
vince of East Roumelia was the fruit 
of the Treaty of San Stefano, trimmed 
and reduced at Berlin. The elabora- 
tion of its organic statutes and form 
of government was entrusted to a 
mixed international body called the 
East Roumelia Commission, the guid- 
ing spirit of which was Herr von 
Kallay, the Austro- Hungarian dele- 
gate. A zealous partisan of the 
Andrassy policy in the East, Herr von 
Kallay had passed many years at 
Belgrade, working industriously for 
the advancement of Austrian influ- 
ence in Servia by means of the press 
and the diplomatic service. He 
brought, then, to the work of his 
mission at Philippopolis, where the 
commission sat, an accurate concep- 
tion of the end to be attained, 
and a complete knowledge of the 
means necessary to further the de- 
signs of his Government. Consis- 
tently supported by his German and 
English colleagues, he was enabled to 
override all opposition raised by the 
Russian or Turkish delegates. It 
was during the sitting of the East 
Roumelia Commission, towards the 
end of 1878, that Austria openly 
showed her hand somewhat prema- 
turely it seems to have been, for 
even Lord Beaconsfield's Cabinet, 
with all its anti-Russian proclivities, 
was not prepared to follow unre- 
servedly the lead of its allies. In 
brief, Count Andrassy proposed to 
the English Government that while 
the civil and financial administration 
of East Roumelia and Macedonia 
should be undertaken by England, 
Austrian troops were to occupy the 
two provinces. This was so bold a 
stroke in the forward policy that it 
is hardly to be wondered at that good 



and substantial reasons were found 
for not at once acceding to the 
Austrian request. Perhaps, too, the 
compensations had not been so well 
defined as they were later on ; the 
proceeding savoured, besides, too much 
of the iron and the earthen pot float- 
ing together on the ruffled surface of 
the water. The earthen pot of English 
civil and financial administration must 
soon have disappeared before the iron 
pot of Austrian military exigences. 
A British Parliament could hardly 
have sanctioned such proceedings, even 
if the Government had entertained the 
proposal. The rejection of this caused 
anger and heart-burning at Vienna, 
augmented later on by Lord Salis- 
bury's reluctance to support the 
Austrian Government in their effort 
to compel the Russian evacuation of 
East Roumelia by the thirteenth of 
April, 1879, which Count Andrassy 
declared, in addressing the delega- 
tions, was a point of honour with 
Austria. The Treaty of Berlin, in 
the twenty-second Article, had fixed 
nine months from the date of signa- 
ture of the Treaty,' which was the 
thirteenth of July, 1878, as the term 
of the Russian occupation of the 
conquered territory ; and accordingly 
Count Andrassy had held the view 
that the last Russian should retire 
from its soil by the thirteenth of 
April; whereas the Russian Govern- 
ment maintained, and maintained suc- 
cessfully, that the complete occupation 
only should cease on that date, and 
accordingly did not commence the 
evacuation before the day called for 
by Count Andrassy for its termination. 
Great annoyance was both felt and 
expressed at Vienna on this subject, 
and Lord Salisbury was openly accused 
of having come to an understanding 
with Russia over the head of the 
"old and faithful" ally of England. 
Those who followed the news of the 
day will call to mind the pertinacity 
with which, by means of the press, 
the Vienna Government endeavoured 
to predispose the public mind in 
Europe in favour of a mixed occupa- 



Austria's Policy in the East. 



tion of East Rournelia by foreign 
troops, from which Russians were to 
be rigorously excluded. The failure 
was a sore trial to the political temper 
of the Austrian Cabinet. Without the 
intervention of foreign arms the East 
Roumelia Commission at Philipoppolis 
concluded its labours ; and at the 
banquet given by the Commission be- 
fore its members separated, Herr von 
Kallay astonished his hearers by an- 
nouncing that " We [that is, Austria] 
do not care now how soon East 
Roumelia and Bulgaria are united." 
During the sitting of the Bulgarian 
Assembly at Tirnova, the part played 
by Austria was rather that of an ob- 
servant spectator. The representatives 
of East Roumelia who went to Tirnova 
to claim the right to sit in the Con- 
stituante assembled to organise the 
government of the principality, were 
refused admission. Meeting with no 
encouragement from the Russian Im- 
perial Commissioner, a small number 
of the East Roumelian delegates 
addressed themselves to Yienna, and 
implored the Austrian Emperor to 
save them from being restored to 
Turkish dominion. But the moment 
for action was not yet ripe, and the 
question was left in abeyance to a 
more convenient season. The resist- 
ance in Bosnia to the execution of 
the European mandate with which 
Austria had entered that province and 
Herzegovina, had been of so much 
more serious and forcible a character 
than anticipated, that Austria-Hun- 
gary was for the time arrested in the 
career of adventure on which she had 
launched. Anything more, therefore, 
than a formal expression of interest in 
their welfare could not be given to the 
East Roumelians. The attention of 
Austria was absorbed in consolidating 
her position in the new provinces, and 
securing the means of preventing 
any possible future joint action of 
Servia and Montenegro. The reluc- 
tance of the Hungarians to further 
the aims of the forward party in 
Austria, and to diminish their own 
forces by the addition of Slavs to 



the already powerful Slav element 
in the empire -kingdom, was a tem- 
porary check to further advance. 
The impolitic speech of M. Tisza, in 
which he described the Austrian occu- 
pation of the Turkish provinces as 
destined to crush the head of the 
Slavonic serpent, was rather calcu- 
lated to act in the nature of a 
challenge to the whole Slavonic race 
than to produce a reassuring or tran- 
quillising effect on minds still heaving 
from their late struggles. The over- 
haste also with which the Roman 
Catholic propaganda followed in the 
wake of the military occupation 
could not but be regarded with sus- 
picion by a people of whom but a fifth 
are Roman Catholics by religion, the 
rest being either adherents of the 
Eastern Church or Mussulmans. The 
whole Austrian action, indeed, in 
the provinces snatched from Turkey, 
has, since the day her troops crossed 
their borders on their mission of 
civilisation, been marked by all the 
errors of a military bureaucracy ham- 
pered by Parliamentary opposition and 
want of funds, and a certain subjection 
to outside opinion, more particularly 
to that expressed in the foreign press. 
But the many important stipula- 
tions of the Treaty of Berlin which 
yet remained to be carried out at 
the end of 1879, and which there 
is much reason to believe were not 
intended to be carried out in their 
integrity, called for settlement. The 
Montenegrin and the Greek questions ; 
the execution of reforms in the Euro- 
pean provinces of Turkey, called for by 
the twenty-third Article of the Berlin 
Treaty, and the condition of Armenia, 
demanded attention. The settlement 
of these questions on the basis of the 
Treaty to which all the Powers re- 
presented at Berlin had affixed their 
signatures, did not, however, meet with 
the ulterior views of all their govern- 
ments. The union of interests so 
ostentatiously proclaimed between 
Germany and Austria, and the adhe- 
sion of the English Cabinet to their 
views of the settlement of the Eastern 



Austria's Policy in the East. 



Question as since developed, together 
with M. Tisza's ''crushing of the head 
of the Slavonic serpent," were the 
first overt indications of the Drang 
nach Osten (pressing eastward) policy of 
the Austro-German combination. It 
was the comprehension of this policy 
in its full scope and meaning which 
furnished the theme and motive of the 
speeches of Skobeleff at Paris and 
elsewhere, and brought into renewed 
activity the leaders and partisans of 
the Panslav cause in Russia and 
among the Slavonic races. The dis- 
solution of Parliament in 1880, and 
the result of the appeal of Lord Bea- 
consfield to the people of England on 
that occasion, determined the fate of 
the combination which had been 
formed to inaugurate a new departure 
in Eastern affairs, entirely and radi- 
cally at variance with the spirit and 
letter of the Berlin settlement. Who 
is there that cannot call to mind the 
almost frantic efforts made from 
Berlin and Vienna, during the excit- 
ing period immediately preceding that 
general election, to influence, by alter- 
nate cajolery and menace, the public 
sentiment of England in favour of 
Lord Beacon sfield's Administration ? 
And who does not remember the wail of 
anger that went up when the accession 
to power of the Liberal party was an- 
nounced 1 Under the determined lead 
of that party, England, acting on the 
Powers whose recalcitrancy to the 
Berlin Treaty menaced a complete 
disruption of the European concert, 
has obtained settlements of the Monte- 
negrin and Greek questions, unsatis- 
factory indeed, and not without great 
difficulty, and in spite of a want of 
loyalty where the opposite might have 
been expected. But such harmony as 
it was possible to create among the 
discordant elements of which the Euro- 
pean concert is composed, could not be 
obtained for the settlement of the con- 
ditions of the twenty-third Article 
of the Berlin Treaty. It is true 
delegates were despatched in 1880 to 
Constantinople to elaborate a series 
of statutes for the government of the 



provinces remaining under the mis- 
rule of the Pashas. But the whole 
performance was a hollow mockery of 
the crying wants of the oppressed 
people of Thrace, Macedonia, and 
Epirus. Propositions tending to pro- 
mote uniformity of method in the 
government of each province were 
strenuously opposed by the Austrian 
delegates, on the plea that the cha 
racter and local peculiarities of each 
district must be first considered, but 
with the real design of preventing 
any solid bond of union among 
the diverse peoples. The statutes, 
however, have remained a dead letter, 
for their execution is supported 
neither by Germany, Austria, Italy, 
France, nor Russia. Alone England 
could do, and the immovable Turk 
would do, nothing. The observation 
of Herr von Kallay, then Under 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs at 
Vienna, when his opinion of the or- 
ganic statutes was asked by one of the 
foreign delegates on the revived East 
Roumelia Commission, was on a parallel 
with the Austrian action all through 
the recent phases "of the Eastern 
difficulty. " We have a more serious 
solution than that," said Herr von 
Kallay a clear implication that re- 
formed government, by the aid of 
Austria and her supporter Germany, 
was not to be established in the un- 
emancipated provinces of European 
Turkey, nor even contemplated. The 
efforts of Austria to obtain the con- 
sent and recognition of Europe to 
her formal annexation of Bosnia and 
the Herzegovina showed the em- 
barrassing nature of the position in 
which her Government found itself. 
At the same time they indicated 
to both the Turkish and Russian 
Governments that the time was not 
far off when a decisive move must be 
made on the part of Austria. To 
abandon the provinces again to Turk- 
ish misrule was impossible ; to grant 
them anything in the shape of an 
autonomous government equally so, 
seeing the encouragement this would 
give the Czech autonomous party, and 



Austria's Policy in the East. 



25 



the opposition which the idea met from 
the Hungarians.-] The alternative was 
the complete subjugation of the 
country ; subjugation in a military 
sense, for there was no probability of 
the Mussulman inhabitants willingly 
accepting the rule of Austria, after 
so many thousands had lost their 
lives in opposing the transfer of an 
allegiance which had brought them 
nothing but the rigid exaction of 
augmented taxes, and would impose 
military service to an alien sove- 
reign. To the Christians, the taxa- 
tion to which they were subjected by 
Austrian officials was as onerous as to 
the Mussulmans ; while the agrarian 
grievances, which were the ostensible 
cause of their rising against the 
Turkish rule, remained without 
redress. 

The difficulty the Austrian Govern- 
ment had to face was extreme. The 
expenses of the occupation and ad- 
ministration of the provinces were in 
excess of the revenues, and the com- 
pact by which the Austrian and Hun- 
garian Governments were not to be 
called on to contribute could not be 
broken without sufficient and weighty 
reason. Indecision was not less peril- 
ous than action ; it was necessary to 
hasten a crisis; and accordingly the 
law of military service was ordered to 
be put in force, not only in the occu- 
pied provinces, but, to give it the air 
of impartiality, as well in those parts 
of Dalmatia which had hitherto suc- 
cessfully resisted the conscription, and 
with the inhabitants of which, as in 
the case of the Crivoscians, a special 
compact of exemption existed. The in- 
surrection of the Crivoscians and Her- 
zegovinians was the answer. Whether 
the conscription was the direct cause of 
the insurrection, or whether the Aus- 
trian authorities profited by their 
knowledge of what was in prepara- 
tion to bring on the crisis, cannot 
be confidently determined. The locali- 
ties in which the bands made their 
appearance in most force seem to 
indicate a pre-arranged line of 
action. Those whose knowledge of 



the country and people entitled their 
opinions to consideration had for 
some time held the view that a 
rising against Austrian rule was 
imminent, and that Christians and 
Mussulmans would be found fighting 
side by side in the struggle. The end 
in Eastern politics has generally been 
held to justify the means, and there is 
no reason to believe that a higher 
political moral tone is prevalent in the 
East to-day than at any other time. 

The co-operation of Austria and Ger- 
many with Italy in the settlement of 
the Greek frontier question forms an 
interesting chapter in the history of 
the Eastern difficulty, which has yet 
to be written. But it is so linked 
with all Austrian policy in the East, 
that it is but an additional indication 
of what is contemplated by Austria 
and Germany, with the tacit adher- 
ence of Italy. Skilfully as Prince 
Bismarck masked, German views of 
predominance in the East behind his 
Pomeranian grenadier, it is clear that, 
whatever interests in the settlement 
of the oriental difficulty it may once 
have pleased him to express, his 
pretensions are- now of a solid and 
substantial gravity which must be 
the cause of uneasiness to more than 
one of the Western Powers and to 
Russia. It requires but a glance at 
the map of Europe to perceive what 
the accomplishment of the Austro- 
German programme in the east of 
Europe signifies. Skilfully and per- 
severingly has the telegraph and print- 
ing press been worked until the idea 
of the Russian at Constantinople has 
been made a nightmare which has 
cost England millions of money and 
thousands of precious lives. It has 
been used to pervert the moral sense 
of her people and her rulers till she has 
come now to be almost invariably found 
on the side of the oppressor against 
the oppressed. And the same agencies 
are still busily at work to persuade 
this country that there is no other 
alternative to the blessings of Austro- 
German rule for the nationalities 
of the East than subjugation to 



26 



Aiistria's Policy in the East. 



a barbarous Russian despotism. The 
great question, and one worth con- 
sidering before it may be too late, 
is, Is this true ? In the first place has 
it been shown that any of the libe- 
rated nationalities of the East have 
expressed, diplomatically or otherwise, 
a desire to be placed under the rule of 
either Austria or Russia, or of one of 
them rather than of the other 1 Have 
the Greeks, the Bulgarians, or the 
Servians, at any time before or since 
their emancipation exhibited a desire 
to be annexed or protected by either 
Russia or Austria? Has it not rather 
been the contrary? Have not these 
peoples, so far as their feeble voices 
have been able to make themselves 
heard above the gong-beating of di- 
plomacy, invariably and consistently 
pleaded for national independence, 
and for scope and time to work out 
their own career in peace and security 1 
But, say some, they are not yet fit 
for self-government, and, if left to 
themselves, they will only fly at each 
other's throats. Let it be granted 
that these two reasons (if true) are 
serious enough to militate against 
giving unlimited liberty to the Greek, 
the Bulgarian, and the Servian. Would 
it not be the duty of the Powers, sup- 
posing always their policy to be disin- 
terested, to prevent conflicts, and so, in 
a word, to train up these smaller na- 
tionalities until they could recognise 
that their true interests and chances 
of prosperity lay in pursuing a course 
of mutual conciliation and goodwill ? 
There hardly seems ground for dispute 
here. What, then, is the inevitable 
conclusion ? Surely this, that some of 
the governments are preparing, owing 
to their unwillingness or inability to 
effectually oppose others, to seize or 
bring into subjection portions of Turkey 
to which they are under a solemn pledge 
to give good government and security 
for life, honour, and property, not only 
without, but against the consent, of 
their inhabitants. The prospect is 
not reassuring, nor is the spectacle 
edifying. Yet all that has been 
here said or indicated is a near and 



possible contingency. Whatever those 
who endeavour to quiet or mislead the 
public mind may assert, the Eastern 
Question is fast quitting the lines for 
its settlement which were traced out 
at Berlin in 1878, as well as those 
contemplated by the British Austro- 
German understanding before the 
general election of 1880. The sup- 
pression of the insurrection in 
Herzegovina and Bosnia has en- 
tirely altered the status of Austria, 
both towards those provinces and 
towards Europe. In the nature 
of things, the absurd position in 
which Austria was placed with her 
own consent cannot be re-estab- 
lished. Backed by Germany, Austria 
will very reasonably, as it seems, de- 
mand to be allowed to incorporate 
those provinces into the empire-king- 
dom ; but whatever their relationship 
is to be, they cannot but prove the 
apple of discord between the two sec- 
tions of the dual empire. The pre- 
dominance, however, which Germany 
holds in the combination with Aus- 
tria, constitutes the danger of this 
method of solving' the difficulty, 
rouses the sensibility of the Slavonic 
world, and menaces the peace of 
Europe. Russia and the Slavonic 
races at large might contemplate with 
equanimity the formation of a Slavonic 
empire in the south-east of Europe, 
which, from the affinity of race and 
religion of its populations, could be no 
menace to herself ; but the prospect of 
Slavonic races subjected to the in- 
fluence and rule of the Teuton, and in- 
vaded by the Papal propagandists, and 
serving to aggrandise and enrich a 
great rival, can only but precipitate the 
struggle between Teuton and Slav 
which both believe to be impending. 

Looking at the question dispassion- 
ately, the solution most favourable 
to the interest of England is that 
which seems to have been the least 
considered the independence of the 
nationalities of the Balkan peninsula. 
The subjection of the races inhabiting 
the valley of the Danube and the 
Balkan country to either Russia or 



Austria's Policy in the East. 



Austro-Germany cannot be regarded 
with indifference by the Western 
Powers, least of all by England. 
Austria on the ^Egean, with Germany 
behind her, means the creation of a 
great naval power in the Eastern 
Mediterranean, disposing of the mari- 
time resources of the Greeks. The 
Power, or combination of Powers, 
which aims at the subjugation of 
what was once Turkey in Europe, 
cannot be relied on to respect the 
independence of Greece after that it 
shall have brought the other races 
under its sway. The harbours of the 
^Egean, the countless islands which 
cover its expanse, will afford shelter 
to fleets which at any moment may de- 
scend on the flank of our road to India 
through the Mediterranean, and forbid 
us the right of way through the Suez 
Canal. Behind such fleets are the magni- 
ficent port of Yolo and the Dardanelles, 
affording refuges against attack and 
for refit. It may be that it is now 
too late to repair the errors in policy 
of which successive administrations in 
this country have been guilty, and 
that events are themselves shaping a 
course to which England, either of 
design or from indifference, will have 
largely contributed. A vigorous policy, 
which would have given to the op- 
pressed nationalities of the East their 
independence of all foreign control, 
would have saved us from our present 
disquietude. On the Danube we see 
Roumania, Servia, and Bulgaria threat- 
ened by Austria. In Macedonia, Al- 
bania, and Epirus, the negative policy of 



Germany and Austria has left these 
countries a prey to anarchy and mis- 
rule, while Montenegro has, in fact, 
become an Austrian vassal. The set- 
tlement of the Greek frontier dispute, 
though adding to Greece a valuable 
and not inconsiderable tract of terri- 
tory, has left the principle for which 
she and her friends contended prac- 
tically as far from settlement as ever. 
Even across the new Greek frontier 
the baleful apprehensions of Austrian 
influence are felt. The nomination of 
Herr von Kallay to the position of 
chief administrator of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina was more suggestive of 
danger to the independence of the 
Balkan nationalities than the mere 
jack - boot government which had 
hitherto mismanaged those provinces. 
It was the first step in the "more 
serious solution " to which reference 
has already been made, the first to a 
radical departure from the lines of 
the Treaty of Berlin. 

An attentive observer will readily 
perceive, by the light of the events of 
the past six years, the goal to which 
things are tending an Austrian pre- 
dominance, backed by Germany, 
throughout the whole of South-east- 
ern Europe, alike^on the .ZEgean and 
the Bosphorus as on the Danube. 
What may be the import of this pre- 
dominance of a powerful politico- 
military combination, animated by 
no sentimental regard for the sus- 
ceptibilities or interests of other 
States, cannot remain long hidden. 



28 



ON CLASSIC GROUND. 



THEY say you may get a shrewd notion 
of a man's character by a glance at 
his book-shelves ; but for my part I 
would sooner ask what books a man 
read in certain conditions of time and 
place, in certain accidents, certain 
changes and chances of his affairs ; 
when sick, or sorry, or glad ; harassed, 
or at leisure ; fresh in the morning 
light, or tired in the gray hours of the 
evening ; in the first surprise of new 
scenes, or renewing the memory of old 
ones. 

Consider, for example, a man, who 
had worn the gown there in his youth, 
revisiting Oxford after a long lapse of 
years ; not in the time of term, when 
all the place would be gay with a life 
he had no share in, and like some 
forlorn ghost he would wander silent 
and puzzled, and perchance something 
sad 

"Among new men, strange faces, other 
minds." 

But let his visit be in the time 
of vacation in the long vacation, say. 
when it is some three weeks or so 
old, and when "the high midsummer 
pomps are on," as he probably has 
never seen them there. Then Oxford 
is his own ; the Oxford he knew in the 
days before the flood, when gowns 
were only worn by men, when no 
blatant tramway desecrated the High 
Street, and no chattering nursemaids 
broke the sacred stillness of Magdalen 
groves. Then the old gray quadrangles 
are alive once more with the forms 
he knew, with voices long silent to 
. his ears, but unforgotten still. Every 
step awakes some echo of the past ; 
every echo stirs some fresh remem- 
brance. Even the old scouts who come 
grinning up to him mines of incon- 
venient memories, old, battered, but- 
tery-worn bodies have a grace about 



them more than nature mostly gives 
their kind. 

' ' Comrades of his past were they, 
Of that unreturning day." 

Above all, as Lamb says, he can fetch 
up past opportunities. Ah, those past 
opportunities ! Oxford is a soil which 
grows that sort of grain in rich pro- 
fusion, and our friend would be a Tom 
of ten thousand indeed if he had not 
a liberal crop of them. 

Surely the books a man in such a 
place and time would turn to would 
illustrate the bent of his mind more 
vividly than the everyday aspect of 
his shelves. If he had a friend with 
him, a comrade of those old years, he 
would read no books. Then they would 
talk : ye gods, how they would talk ! 
But if he were alone and, unless he 
had provided himself with company, 
he would probably be very much alone 
he would almost inevitably seek 
some moments of companionship in 
books, and in books redolent of this 
or that of the many perfumes of the 
place. And from his choice a curious 
assayer of the great human riddle 
might amuse himself much in framing a 
scheme of that man's life, its past and 
its present, its dreams and its realities. 
" In the shadow of the mighty Bodley " 
he might be found solacing himself 
with the old folios of Anthony "Wood, 
or still more venerable relics. "Were 
he one who in his day had walked 
delicately and along well-ordered paths, 
he might now " fetch up past opportu- 
nities " by a study of the adventures 
of Mr. Verdant Green, or Mr. Drys- 
dale, or of that still more audacious 
volume (as I have heard) which retails 
the experiences of one Peter Priggins, 
a scout. Had he, on the other hand, 
been one wont to lean his ear too 
closely to the chimes of midnight, or 



On Classic Ground. 



29 



too profuse in his consumption of 
ginger, it is probable that having 
been long forced to forswear both 
those and all kindred delights he 
would be something of an ascetic, at 
least in theory ; musing over the great 
vanished era of plain living and high 
thinking, as we imagine it to have 
been. Then would the Apologia be 
in his hands ; then would he relieve 
with the livelier chatter of the brothers 
Mozley the sour egotism of Mark 
Pattison. Then would he walk into 
Trinity to see if the snap-dragon still 
grew on its walls, as it grew in the 
Fre.shmanhood of John Henry New- 
man ; then, pacing the gravelled 
quadrangle of Oriel, would he strive 
to catch in the echoes of his solitary 
steps some memories of that mighty 
band of reformers, who pulled down 
so much, and built up so little ; or, 
peering still further into the abysm of 
time, would he linger round that 
glorious old library of Merton the 
oldest, probably, and most perfect 
book-retreat in the world if haply 
on the ear of imagination might fall 
the ghostly footsteps of Duns Scotus 
still restlessly pacing the bricked 
floor as he meditated some shrewd 
retort on the Dominican. And surely, 
Nominalist or Realist, Stoic or Epicu- 
rean, whatever he has been or be, if he 
be a true son of Oxford some part of 
his time at least will . be spared to 
his old friends, the Scholar Gipsy and 
Thyrsis. 

It happened that in the course of 
this summer I found myself at Oxford, 
in much the same circumstances as 
the visitor thus foreshadowed. I had 
not set foot in the place for very many 
years, and I was alone. As this is no 
autobiography, nor designed as a 
posthumous bombshell for my friends, 
there is no need to specify the nature 
of my reflections, nor the books I 
found most congenial to them. But 
as the weather during all my visit 
was superlatively fine, day succeeding 
day of blue sky and sunshine and 
breeze, a great deal of my time was natu- 
rally passed in the open air ; and after 



the first rapture of memory among the 
gray old buildings had been satisfied, 
it was no less natural that I should 
turn to that " loved hill-side " whereon 
Thyrsis and his friend had first assayed 
their shepherd pipes. It had long 
been a wish of mine to stand under 
the shade of the elm- tree 

' ' The signal-elm, that looks on Ilsley downs, 
The Vale, the three lone weirs, the youthful 
Thames : " 

the tree whose life was fondly fancied 
by the two friends to be co-existent 
with that of 

" The Oxford scholar poor, 
Of pregnant parts and quick inventive brain, 
Who, tired of knocking at preferment's door, 

One summer-morn forsook 
His friends, and went to learn the gipsy-lore, 
And roam'd the world with that wild 

brotherhood, 
And came, as most men deem'd, to little 

good, 
But came to Oxford and his friends no more." 

From hunting with the Berkshire 
hounds that " rude Cumnor ground " 
had once been tolerably familiar to me ; 
but really to know a country you must 
traverse it on your own legs, and we 
were no great pedestrians in my 
Oxford days ; at least those whom I 
saw most of were not. We preferred 
horse-exercise ; and though the statutes 
of the college, within whose venerable 
walls we pursued, with moderation, 
the study of polite learning, had much 
to say against that pastime, we man- 
aged to gratify our preference not 
illiberally. My main dependence was 
the small pocket volume, one of the 
Golden Treasury Series, containing 
the two poems 

" Runs it not here, the track by Childsworth 

farm, 
Past the high wood, to where the elm-tree 

crowns 
The hill behind whose ridge the sunset 

flames ? " 

That was all the compass I had to 
steer by ; and where this farm lay I 
knew no more than readers of the 
morning papers knew till the other 
day where Yap might be. Somewhere 
between the two Hinkseys the path 



30 



On Classic Ground. 



must lie ; so much was clear, but 
nothing more. 

One burning July day my quest 
began. I went out of the town, under 
the railway bridge, past Oseney, and 
up through the water meadows to 
Ferry Hinksey, which had been selected 
as the base of my first operations. In 
which of the two Hinkseys swung the 
sign that bore Sibylla's name I do not 
know, nor which of their little streets 
boasted the haunted mansion. But 
I do know that the name of George 
Scott is on the signboard of " The 
Fishes," at Ferry Hinksey, and that 
he sells only that sort of bastard 
ginger-beer which is compact of some 
vile powder, or so-called essence, and 
stored in glass-bottles. And so it was 
in nearly all the ale-houses throughout 
the country side. The good old brew 
that sprang after the bursting cork out 
of the squat brown stone bottles has 
gone ; gone with Sibylla and her sign, 
and with the girl by the boatman's 
door, and with the mowers \vho stayed 
their scythes among the river-grass to 
watch the friends steering their course 
through the Wytham flats 

".They all are gone, and thou art gone as 
well ! " 

This " Fishes " inn is well-named, 
though the " Fishers " had, perhaps, 
been better. Never were there such 
Ushers as these Oxford folk. Man, 
woman, and child, the fields are full 
of them ; each sedged brook is alive 
with their floats, and round every pond 
they crowd, solemn, silent, earnest, 
like adjutant birds beside some In- 
dian tank. In all my walks I never 
saw a fish landed, nor so much even as 
a bobbing float. But the fishers fished 
on for ever. I verily believe the old vil- 
lage patriarchs, when too weak to hobble 
to the brooksides, woo the imported 
minnow from the tubs outside their 
doors. As I crossed the ferry that 
day, the little boy who worked the 
rope entertained me with legends of a 
vast jack, believed to have its home 
under a tree close by the punt's moor- 
ngs. Each time I crossed that ferry, 



and I crossed it many times, that jack 
grew, till the sturgeon Nahma, king 
of fishes, can have been but a 
stickleback to him. And there he 
lies (the jack), for aught I know, to 
this day. 

Across the ferry, then, past the new 
inn and the old church, up the grassy 
hill-side, and through a bean-field, 
sweeter than all the perfumes of 
Araby, I went, till I came out where 
a wide plain of yellowing corn sloped 
upward to the sky, and from out the 
further hedgerow rose a likely tree. 
Might this be the elm 1 

No ; for it was an oak, and the view 
from it was not the view prescribed. 
No downs of Ilsley were in sight, and 
only half the vale. Yet it was a noble 
view. It was not August : the corn 
was not yet ready for the reapers ; the 
lindens were missing. Yet it was not 
hard to fancy it the very spot where 
he who strove 

*' To flute his friend, like Orpheus, from the 
dead," 

waited for the shepherd that summer 
day long ago. 

" Screeu'd is this nook o'er the high, half- 

reap'd field, 
And here till sundown, shepherd ! will I 

be. 
Through the thick corn the scarlet 

poppies peep, 
And round green roots and yellowing 

stalks 1 see 
Pale pink convolvulus in tendrils creep ; 

And air-swept lindens yield 
Their scent, and rustle down their per- 
fumed showers 
Of bloom on the bent grass where I am 

laid, 
And bower me from the August sun 

with shade ; 

And the eye travels down to Oxford's 
towers." 

On through the gate into the farther 
field, and then, on the fronting ridge 
rose Cumnor Hurst, with its little 
wind-swept clump of firs guarded by 
the solitary elm not my elm, for the 
Hurst has its own place in the elegy. 
As is the case with most Englishmen, 
my knowledge of England is curiously 
limited, and my praise is therefore 
little worth ; but I cannot remember 



On Classic Ground. 



31 



any English scene to be compared with 
that you get from Cumnor Hurst. 
Two noble views come before me as 
I write ; the well-known one from 
Leith Hill, and one from the garden- 
terrace of Duncombe Park in York- 
shire ; but neither of these in my eyes 
ranks with the wide Oxfordshire pros- 
pect. In the two former the scene 
lies flat and straight before you; in 
the last, it lies all round you. There, 
on that little knoll, with the breeze 
singing through the pines overhead 
for how still soever it be elsewhere, 
there is always a breeze on the 
Hurst while "the bleating of the 
folded flocks " conies faintly from 
the distant uplands, mixed with yet 
fainter sounds of human labour in 
the hay-fields below ; there you stand, 
like the eagle, " ringed with the azure 
world." The open air is all round 
you ; turn where you will, the ever- 
lasting hills make your horizon. To 
the north-east rise the Chilterns, and 
below them, in more distinguishable 
tints, the wooded range which over- 
looks Oxford, the range of Headington 
and Shotover. Oxford herself lies full 
and fair before you \ her staring new red 
suburbs reaching away like unlovely 
wings on either side the immortal 
group of " dreaming spires," along Port 
Meadow almost to Godstow on the 
one side, and nearly touching Iffley on 
the other. There is the tower of Iffley 
church, and the immemorial poplars. 
Northwards rise the woods of Wytham, 
their dark green masses glorified into 
orange by the vivid sunlight. Below 
them Ensham, and all " the grassy 
harvest of the river fields," threaded 
by the shy silver of the youthful 
Thames, from whose farther bank the 
slender spire of Cassington soars into 
the golden air. Westward, beneath 
your feet, lies Cumnor, half hidden in 
its leafy nest ; and above Cumnor, and 
all away to the west and south-west, 
the Berkshire moors go rolling on, 
down after down, to the far blue line 
of the Cotswolds. Many a time in my 
month's holiday did I look over that, 
scene, and in many a change of light 



and shade, beneath blue skies and 
gray, and once even through the driving 
rain, but its infinite variety never grew 
stale to my eyes. 

Still, there was the amari aliquid, 
of course. On the Cumnor side of the 
slope, marring all the western view, a 
tall red chimney, vomiting smoke from 
its black mouth, marks a brick kiln of 
the lords of Abingdon. Gratifying, 
no doubt, as another sign of the tire- 
less industry of the Anglo-Saxon race ; 
but not beautiful. And there must be 
so many ugly spots which a wilderness 
of chimneys could make no uglier i 

It was a hot day, and the spirit of 
Giles Gosling called to me from out 
the trees of Cumnor. So down the 
slope I went, and through the kilns, 
and after a dusty tramp along the 
white high road came into the village 
by its rare old church. 

Immediately behind the church is 
a grass field, surrounded by a rough 
stone wall, and in that wall lies all 
that the neighbourhood now holds of 
Cumnor Hall. Many an oak still 
grows thereby, but the Hall itself 
has vanished, as the hall of Balclutha, 
or that " where Jamshyd gloried and 
drank deep." In 1811 the skeleton of 
the house, which can have been no 
great thing, was still standing ; but 
in that year the Lord Abingdon of the 
day carried off the windows and door- 
ways to adorn his new church at 
Wytham. For some while longer three 
bare stone arches still marked the spot ; 
but now they too are gone, and nothing 
remains but the close, some fine old 
trees relics, let us believe, of the 
avenue beneath which Amy and the 
faithful Janet hurried on that midnight 
flight and the stone wall. 

And yet there was no midnight 
flight to Kenilworth ; no Kenil- 
worth for Amy to fly to, for it was not 
Leicester's till after her death ; and 
while she lived Robert Dudley was not 
Leicester, and poor Amy was no 
countess. Tony Fire-the-Faggot was 
Anthony Forster, gent., a worthy mem- 
ber of a good old Shropshire family, 
a cultivator of the fine arts, and 



32 



On Classic Ground. 



possessed of as many virtues as Bishop 
Berkeley. " Villain " Yarney was Sir 
Richard Yerney, of Compton Yerney 
in Warwickshire, high-sheriff for the 
county, and heaven and the antiquaries 
only know what else of great and good. 
There was no flight from the old 
Devonshire home, no clandestine mar- 
riage, no broken-hearted father. Mis- 
tress Amy Robsart and her lord were 
married in open day, at Sheen in 
Surrey, in the presence of little King 
Edward and a goodly company, with 
marriage settlements and festivities, 
and everything handsome about them. 
There was no murder. Lady Dudley 
died, it is true; and here, it is also 
true, the champions of the fact are a 
little at loss ; for how the lady died, 
by her own hand or sheer accident 
murder we are forbidden to call it 
no one rightly knows. She was found 
one September evening, when all the 
servants had at her own bidding been 
packed off to Abingdon Fair, and Dud- 
ley (who, for all his affection, seems to 
have given her very little of his com- 
pany) was with the court at Windsor- 
she was found in the lonely house 
lyiDg dead at the foot of "a pair of 
stairs." That was all that was ever 
known, or ever will be, till the grave 
in St. Mary's gives up its dead. 1 

Yes, it is all a myth ; and Sir Wal- 
ter was a heedless traducer of most 
honourable men, palming off a paltry 
novel as history on the idle public. 
Truly, a most reprehensible deed. And 
yet I think not all the antiquarians in 
the world will be able to pull down 
what Sir Walter has builded. Shrewdly 
does the east wind of fact nip these old 
flowers of romance. But somehow they 
survive ; renewed, like the Bed Rose 
of Lancaster, " for everlasting blossom- 
ing," when once the sun of genius has 
touched them with its liberal warmth. 
Mr. Ruskin has proved the Yenice of 

1 Lady Dudley was buried with great cere- 
mony, in the presence of her husband, many 
of his court friends, a large company of 
ladies, and several of the University dignitaries, 
in the chancel of St. Mary's Church, Oxford, 
September, 1560. 



Childe Harold to be "a mere efflores- 
cence of decay," nothing but "a stage- 
dream, which the first ray of daylight 
must dissipate into dust " ; yet it is a 
dream which will outlast the histori- 
cal Yenice of Mr. Ruskin. Not all the 
pamphleteers in either hemisphere will 
silence villain Yarney's fatal whistle, 
or give Tony Fire -the- Faggot decent 
burial in Cumnor church. He has yet 
to be born who shall be man enough to 
" burke Sir Walter ! " 

The Black Bear still rears itself 
against the ragged staff in Cumnor, 
and the sign still bears the name 
Giles Gosling. But it is a beast of 
modern breed, and the Gosling is but 
a pretty piece of sentiment. Mine 
host of to-day rejoices in the name of 
Bunsby a noticeable name, too ! 
Still, whatever its age, the place 
has a fine old air about it, and for 
the sentiment of the signboard, I 
called for a cup of Master Bunsby's 
ale, and drank it to the health of Sir 
Walter. I drank it in a quaint half- 
moon-shaped room, with narrow, high- 
backed, oaken settles ranged round 
the walls, rare to l6ok at, but a very 
Siege Perilous for the weary traveller. 
Miss Bunsby if Miss Bunsby it was 
who served my ale fills pretty 
Cicely's part not unworthily. But the 
grace granted Tressilian was not mine. 

My Hebe had told me of a conveni- 
ent way on to the range again, through 
the village of Wootton ; but it in- 
cluded a mile or so of the high road, 
and I had not come out to tramp the 
high road. So, when Cumnor was 
fairly left behind, T essayed to make a 
way for myself. It was not well 
made. After some very rough walk- 
ing, unrelieved by hedges of amazing 
consistency, I got into a wood ; in that 
wood was a bog, and I got into that 
bog; and as I floundered in its Ser- 
boniaii depths some confounded dog 
kept baying through the wood, and 
awful memories of bloodhounds and 
dismal swamps came thronging into 
my hot, midge-tormented head. Those 
midges, by the way, or whatsoever 
else be the winged buzzing beasts that 



On Classic Ground. 



33 



encircle one's head on a summer day's 
walk, are those which attach them- 
selves to you on your first start, the 
same which go with you to the end ? 
From the moment I got fairly into the 
fields that day till I re-entered Oxford, 
"a host of insects," as with Words- 
worth's traveller, went " ever with me 
as I paced along." Save for the few 
minutes passed in the inn parlour they 
never left me. There was no appreci- 
able moment of relieving guard ; and 
yet it seems hard to suppose a gnat 
would travel so far for the sheer 
pleasure of tormenting one wretched 
head. 

A very hot, dishevelled creature at 
last, after a wasted hour, stumbled 
into Wootton. The history of this 
parish dates from the middle of the 
thirteenth century, but to me it is, or 
was, chiefly remarkable for possessing 
not a single ale-house ! In those strug- 
gles in the wood the virtue of John 
Bunsby's cheer had gone from me, and 
needed renewing. It could not be 
done in Wootton. Five hundred souls, 
or thereabouts, are there in the village, 
but not one ale-house I There was the 
"Fox," indeed, but the "Fox" was 
"over the hills and far away." Still 
it was truly a case of Fox, et prceterea 
nihil, and, after all, the blessed animal 
lay in my homeward track. The tongue 
of the Berkshire peasant is not easily 
understanded of the stranger, and my 
inquiries as to the whereabouts of this 
house of call resulted in no certain 
knowledge. Like the Mulligan's Lon- 
don home, it was tJiere there repre- 
senting an indefinite portion of the 
Cumnor range. It was clear, however, 
that my way was up the hill, and to 
that hill a pretty path stretched out 
through a mile or so of grass fields 
and over sundry primeval stone stiles. 
Along that path accordingly, and over 
those stiles, I went, till half way up 
the hill there rose a little cluster of 
cottages, which betokened some form 
of civilisation ; but signs of entertain- 
ment for man or beast there were 
none. Again I sought to fathom the 
mysteries of the native dialect, and 

No. 313. VOL. LIII. 



this time there came with them a 
gesture clearly pointing, or so it 
seemed, to some chimneys rising from 
a small clump of trees a few hundred 
yards distant. They were soon reached. 
The house was perched on a little ledge 
overlooking a glorious landscape a 
most picturesque position, but not too 
convenient for a house of call ambitious 
of much custom. A mere track led up 
to it, nor was there any signboard, 
nor customary inscription detailing 
the privileges of him who is licensed 
to inspirit the weary traveller. But 
over the doorway grinned, in stuffed 
similitude of life, a noble fox an un- 
conventional form of signboard in har 
mony with the romance of the situation. 
I entered ; all was still ; no welcome 
bar greeted my longing eyes. I 
coughed, scraped with my feet, and 
beat with my stick upon the floor, 
till, having in vain exhausted the 
signs by which a modest man notifies 
his presence, I was fain to lift up my 
voice. Thereat, from a parlour on my 
left, bounced out a matronly but not 
merciful-seeming dame, who somewhat 
tartly demanded my wants. I an- 
swered, with perfect truth, that I 
only wanted something to drink, and 
my tone also had perhaps a touch of 
petulance in it. " Then," was the 
startling reply, "I don't think you 
can have it." What a hostess ! But, 
of course, the place was no inn; it 

was a private house, the house of , 

some name I could not catch, and was 
not interested in, for, as I could not 
drink there, it might have been a 
lunatic asylum for all I cared. Pro- 
fuse were my apologies, but the good 
dame still, like Nell Cook, "looked 
askew." Perhaps she took me for 
the scholar - gipsy, and feared for 
her spoons : my coat was of grey, and 
my hat of undeniably antique shape, 
and she, of course, could not tell I 
was no scholar. Well, she would do 
nothing for me but direct me to the 
real Fox, which was still some half 
mile further on ; and thither, like a 
Young Marlow who had missed his 
cue, I departed. I thought she might 



On Classic Ground. 



have been more liberal, and I think 
so still. 

However, the goal was reached at 
last, and the Fox proved more cordial 
than the Vixen. The sun was slop- 
ing fast now to the western hills, 
and as, my refreshing over, I came out 
on the high level of the range before 
the road begins its downward sweep 
into Oxford, there was little of him 
left but his light in the sky. It was 
here, at this place and time, that I 
saw the " dreaming spires " in their 
most perfect loveliness. I stood at 
the meeting of four roads. Before 
me sloped away to the north-east a 
vast amphitheatre of corn, burnished 
by the liberal sun before its time. 
Dark belts of wood encircled it, but 
at the summit of the arc the woods 
dipped, and in the space thus left, 
from out a little sea of silver mist, 
rose Oxford. From out that silver sea 
she rose over the golden corn. Spire 
and tower and dome, each rose up 
clear and white against the purple 
hills to take the last kiss of the dying 
day. The woods on either side shut 
out the staring horrors of the new 
town ; all was pure Oxford. 

" By the skirts of that grey cloud, 
Many-domed Padua proud, 
Stands, a peopled solitude, 
'Mid the harvest shining plain." 

On such a picture I, who am an un- 
travelled man, had never looked 
before ; and far indeed must I travel 
ere I shall see one to better it. 

And I had never found the tree ! 
Had never even stumbled on the right 
track, for I had seen no Childsworth 
Farm. Truth to tell, I was so filled 
with delight at my ramble and all its 
memories, so rejoiced in the sheer 
possession of the open air, the fresh 
sunlight, and the breeze, after so 
many months of our accursed Babylon, 
that the particular purpose of my 
quest had rather passed out of my 
mind. But what mattered it ? There 
were many days still to run ; and there 
was the "loved hill-side" all before 
me, with Providence and that "good 
survivor " for my guide. 



Many a time was the quest renewed, 
and many a glorious day passed on 
those " warm, green-muffled Cumnor 
hills." One particular day there was 
when they were warm with a ven- 
geance. South Hinksey was the base 
of operations that time, and as I crossed 
the high wooden bridge that spans both 
railway and reservoir, and went along 
the causeway (then anything but 
"chill" !), my eye had marked on a ridge 
immediately over the village a " lone 
sky-pointing tree " which looked much 
like that I sought. The path led up 
through the Happy Valley though 
why this particular valley, by no 
means the happiest in the range for 
natural beauty, should monopolise that 
title I know not and over the hill 
beyond lay Childsworth Farm. Chils- 
well they call it now, and a very 
sufficient, comfortable homestead it is, 
with a spacious stone barn, queerly 
loop-holed as though for musketry. 
The road to Cumnor runs past its 
gate and over the hills to the right : 
but the possible tree lay to the left, 
up a steep grass-field liberally studded 
with thistles. A ragged hedge crowned 
the top, and at its western end was 
the tree. 

An elm, no doubt of that : a tall, 
slender elm, with some exotic growth 
clustering round the lower trunk. 
There, too, was the " high wood," 
with a persistent ringdove calling 
from its cool depths. But no Ilsley 
downs were in sight. The view over 
the Thames valley was as it should 
be, though some envious intervening 
trees rather robbed Oxford of her fair 
proportions. The towers of Merton 
and Magdalen stood up in conspicuous 
beauty, and the pomps of Christ Church ; 
but the spire of St. Mary's was want- 
ing, and the dome of the Radcliffe. 
On the other side view there was 
none, save of the intervening valley, 
in which nestled one lone little home- 
stead, and the next ridge, the high 
table-land of the range. However, 
this was the most satisfactory issue 
my search vouchsafed me. It was 
an elm ; it stood " bare on its lonely 



On Classic Ground. 



35 



ridge ; " and behind that ridge the 
sunset would, in proper time and due 
atmospheric conditions, most assuredly 
iflame. More than that, without the 
jftat of its first discoverer, I could not 
say. 

Pho3bus, what a day that was ! 
There was a certain August day last 
year, the day when the English and 
Australian cricketers met at Kenning- 
ton Oval, one the former are little 
likely to forget. That perhaps was 
hotter, but only that of all the days 
have passed over my head in England. 
Yet it was a generous heat, born of the 
sun only, unmixed with any stifling 
tropical steam. The air was fresh and 
pure, and though breeze there was 
none, to breathe it was a liberal 
pleasure. Past the Fox again, 
and down the hill-side through 
abstemious Wootton, out on to the 
high road I went by the path the lass 
of the Bear had designed for my steps 
that other time. But then, instead of 
turning up the road to Cumnor, or 
down it to Abingdon, I held on across 
some grass lands, where the panting 
cows had barely strength to chew the 
customary cud, and through a noble 
field of quick-yellowing corn, out again 
on to the public way the way which 
led to Besilsleigh and Fyfield. In 
July, and such a July, there was small 
likelihood of finding any maidens 
dancing round the Fyfield-tree ; more- 
over, my purpose was to cross " the 
stripling Thames at Bablock-hythe." 
So turning to the right, I set my face 
for Eaton, and a fiery stretch of blind- 
ing white road. No traveller was on 
that road save my perspiring self : the 
fields on either side were silent and 
empty : even in the village itself no 
sign of humanijty was visible save here 
and there some listless mother lulling 
her uneasy brat in the shade of a 
doorway. It was as though all human 
life had shrunk away in the presence 
of that imperious sun. But, indeed, 
my walks were not rich in social 
charm : it was rare (and the rarity was 
borne with patience) to meet with any 
of my kind outside the villages, and in 



them life seemed neither large nor 
brisk. Queer old sleepy hollows. are 
those villages : unchanged through 
all the change at work in the 
great intellectual centre so near 
them. Curious it is from the stir 
of the quick spreading city to pass 
at one step into this old-world region, 
there at her very gates. And yet, 
perhaps to some minds it might seem 
more typical of Oxford than Oxford 
herself ! After a lapse of twenty years 
the friend of Thyrsis found that 
" nothing keeps the same." Another 
term of twenty years has flown since 
a feebler foot first trod these hills, and 
yet to me everything seems to have 
kept strangely the same. There are 
the old sign-posts, fossils of the coaching 
age, still in dumb reproach enjoining 
man to go to Bath by this road, or by 
that to Cheltenham. There are still 
the huge ungainly stiles, and the 
rough broken paths surely, as Buck- 
stone used to say in the Overland 
Route, the "nubbliest spots in the 
whole of the island." The bare, hard- 
benched little ale-houses, whence the 
clattering boors drove out the shy 
gipsy-scholar, are standing still. The 
thatched rough-plastered cottages are 
all unchanged, with their tiny stone- 
walled garden plots, ablaze with 
old-time blossoms, heavy crimson roses, 
homely sweet-william and gaudy 
marigold, stocks and the musk 
carnation, "gold -dusted" snapdragon 
and tall white nodding lilies. The 
recluse of Walden Pond might have 
made even his fastidious soul in the 
simple quiet of these Oxford villages. 

A little way outside Eaton, toiling 
up the slope from the river meadows, I 
met an old man, the oldest man I ever 
saw still following the fortunes of 
labouring humanity. So old was he 
that he seemed bent not double but 
treble with age. Over his shoulders 
fell thin silver festoons of hair, and 
the skin of his face was as the rind of 
a water-melon. A rude staff, taller 
than himself no great height 
propped his slow steps, and at his back 
hung a wallet that might have been 

r. 2 



36 



On Classic Ground. 



the wallet of Time. Old enough he 
looked to have been born in those far 
off days 

" When wits were fresh and clear, 
And life ran gaily as the sparkling Thames ;" 

Though life had run, one fears, with 
little gaiety for him ! He piped out 
a feeble answer to my greeting, 
and added the welcome news that the 
ferry was barely a mile before me. 
Heaven help that old man if, on the 
very threshold of the grave, he had 
paused to deceive the stranger ! It was 
the longest mile I ever walked. 

At last, the stripling Thames ; not 
running gaily what could run in 
that fierce heat, save this too solid 
flesh ! but basking in the burning 
light, a still sheet of molten gold, 
shrinking from its thirsty banks 
as though in very shame to see the 
drooping grasses it had not strength to 
save. The huge punt stretched half 
across the stream; a little knot of 
should-be workmen were resting at the 
farther end, lazily contemplating 
through the smoke of their short black 
pipes the young walls of a hideous brick 
tenement they might finish at some 
more convenient time. In the next 
meadow was the inevitable fisherman 
poor fool, he might as well have 
whipped the turnpike road ! My de- 
mands for a passage were grudgingly 



granted, and hardly a piece of silver, 
instead of the customary copper toll, 
reconciled the grumbling Charon when 
he found I had made the passage in 
sheer wantonness. What were my 
memories to him ? Twenty years ago 
I had crossed that stream, an eager 
Freshman, bound for my first college 
steeplechase, in the company of one 
who has since too early crossed 
that other " unpermitted ferry's flow." 
Clearly the scene came back to me. 
The moist, fresh-smelling fields smiling 
under the dappled February sky ; the 
gray brimming current ; the slow punt 
packed full with thronging lads and 
shy horses ; the laugh, the jest, and 
all the high anticipation of the fun ; 
and he, my friend, the earliest and the 
best 

" But while I mused came Memory with sad 

eyes, 
Holding the folded annals of my youth. " 

Here it is fit to drop these poor 
"coronals of that unforgotten time." 
Perhaps I never found the tree : per- 
haps it is gone, and the gipsy-scholar 
dead. But the recollection of those 
pleasant summer days will never go 
of that so sweet renewal of youth. 
Next year may I take up the search 
again, 

" Still nursing the unconquerable hope, 
Still clutching the inviolable shade " ! 



37 



THE DEPRESSION OF "ENGLISH." 



IF to the Royal Commission on the 
Depression of Trade could be added 
one to consider the causes of the de- 
pression of the literature and history 
of our own country, some interesting 
and suggestive evidence might be forth- 
coming. And if only impartial wit- 
nesses were selected, the labours of 
such a commission would be finished 
within a week. To such impartial 
witnesses might be recommended the 
scrutiny of the various changes intro- 
duced of late years in the regulations 
for the examination of aspirants to 
various of the higher branches of the 
services. 

Rather more than a quarter of a 
century ago an edict went forth in the 
ordinary course of public business, the 
full effect of which could not have 
been anticipated at the time. It em- 
bodied a tentative scheme, matured 
after much patient thought and deli- 
beration by a syndicate of represen- 
tative men, prominent amongst whom 
were the late Lords Macaulay and 
Derby. 

Matter-of-fact and simple, carefully 
considered in point of light and shade, 
and weighed with scrupulous care, 
this scheme, though not absolutely 
perfect, was fraught with the best 
intentions. The chief promoters did 
not live to witness the salutary revo- 
lution it occasioned ; and they are 
not here to protest against the cruel 
mutilation of their work. The pur- 
port of this new project was ap- 
parently fourfold : to legislate for the 
benefit of India ; to claim proper 
recognition in the future for all the 
leading branches of learning, and 
notably of those then absolutely ne- 
glectedEnglish literature and his- 
tory; to appeal to all sorts and 
conditions of youths not to youths 



of an uniform mental pattern turned 
out like bullets from a mould, but to 
every shade of capacity and intelli- 
gence ; and lastly, to give an impetus 
to the dormant energies of the non- 
classical masses by pointing out that 
English and science and modern lan- 
guages were also high roads to em- 
ployment in the public service. 

This tempting bait was not thrown 
out in vain, and very gradually a 
change for the better set in. The 
process was necessarily sluggish, for 
the reason that the new class of com- 
batants had no weapon sufficiently 
keen to wield in the field of open com- 
petition. Still there are records tell- 
ing that at first hundreds fought in 
many a forlorn hope, and it was just 
this spirit of pugnacity that heralded 
a complete revolution in our educa- 
tional system. 

" Modern sides" and classes for 
English study in our great public 
schools were not even dreamt of then ; 
University undergraduates were left 
in comfortable ignorance as to the 
development of the prose, the poetry, 
and the history of their own land, for 
in those days there was no Early- 
English Text Society for the en- 
couragement of philological work 
adapted to the wants of young stu- 
dents ; Professor Child had not written 
a line of his Observations on the Lan- 
guage of Chaucer, which settled for all 
time, and for all subsequent com- 
mentators, the principles upon which 
an accurate text of this poet could be 
constructed ; the Clarendon Press 
Series, and other kindred literary 
ventures, had not been planned , while 
such pioneers as Green, Freeman, 
Stubbs, Lecky, Gardiner, and Pearson 
were not much beyond their teens ; 
and the large proportion of the com- 



The Depression of "English" 



pany of scholars responsible for the 
Handbooks, Primers, Glossaries, Synop- 
ses, Epochs, Studies, Outlines, Digests, 
Elements, and Specimens, designed to 
soften the tasks of their younger 
brethren at school these men were 
in their cradles. 

Books of this class have come " not 
single spies but in battalions." Com- 
mencing with English subjects, they 
have rapidly extended to the other 
accepted branches of learning. Even 
the old classical texts have disappeared, 
and the annotated Primer is supreme. 
It will indeed be difficult to con- 
jecture what is likely to come next, 
for there can be scarcely any author, 
ancient or modern, left for the editor's 
handiwork. Nearly every reign in our 
history hasjbeen exhaustively treated by 
a master hand ; the biography of every 
great historical character has been 
written ; and the abridgments (some 
few exceedingly good) of the general 
history of England, of European his- 
tory, and of the history of English 
literature, are innumerable. Such an 
extraordinary upheaval is unparal- 
leled, not to say appalling. II y en a 
pour tons les go'dts^ and from pence to 
guineas. 

Every known man has been pressed 
into the service according to his lights, 
and with the result that a consider- 
able number of these volumes has 
been launched from the Universities 
and the Public Schools. In some cases 
it may be objected that editions 
have contained twice as many pages 
of notes as of text, and that youths 
who should be made to think for them- 
selves are spoon-fed with the most 
trivial explanations and interpreta- 
tions of ' the original ; a scoffing public 
has even gone so far as to assert that 
people who read these volumes other 
than for personal delectation are 
" cramming." 

Viewing, however, the work of the 
three last decades as a whole, more 
has been accomplished in aid of a 
scholarly and critical appreciation of 
" English " than was done in the three 
centuries preceding. It is not too 



much to assert that Lord Macaulay 
and his colleagues could no more have 
anticipated that so gigantic an edifice 
would rise from their foundation stone, 
than our Cromwellian ancestors could 
have discerned in the haphazard Navi- 
gation Act the astounding develop- 
ment of our mercantile marine. Ii> 
behoves us to keep a watchful eye on 
this monument of industry and cul- 
ture, to encourage the admiration of 
it, and to check all dangerous reaction. 
It has been tampered with already. 

It is important to bear in mind 
that a new department of state, known 
as the Civil Service Commission, was 
instituted at this time to act as an 
examining body for the public service, 
and the Order in Council in question 
formed part of the general scheme. 
The history of this body may be de- 
scribed as a Thirty Years' skirmish 
between tradition and progress, and 
is commensurate with every stage of 
the literary movement. Each step in 
advance taken by the commission in- 
creased the vitality of the intellectual 
labour-market, and struck at the weak 
point in the education of [the rising 
generation. 

In course of time a few powerful 
schools agreed to accept the situation, 
and their example was followed, with 
more or less enthusiasm, by others. 
The reaction extended to the Universi- 
ties, and, by means of many " extension 
schemes," has permeated every nook 
and corner of our educational system. 
Any movement, therefore, which 
directly or indirectly tends to depress 
what is termed the " modern side " in 
our great schools any retrograde 
movement, in fact must inevitably 
lead to injustice and trouble. 

Two illustrations will be given indi- 
cative of nothing less than the delibe- 
rate depreciation of English literature 
and history in quarters where they 
were formerly allowed to rank at their 
proper value. 

First, in regard to candidates for 
the Royal Military College, Sand- 
hurst. New regulations have been 
issued abolishing the study of English 



The Depression of " English." 



39 



literature, and degrading history to 
the standard of a second-class optional 
subject. History, therefore, will be 
shirked by any candidates who can 
improve their chances of success by 
means of better "paying" branches; 
so that Sandhurst will be recruited by 
many a cadet absolutely without know- 
ledge of any branch even of military 
history. 

The specific complaint of past years, 
in regard to this examination, has al- 
ways been that encouragement was 
given to the bookworm at the expense 
of the more desirable athlete ; and 
that it was ridiculous to put the 
English officer of the future through 
his facings in Chaucer or Spenser, or 
indeed in any purely literary study. 
In their condemnation of " English " 
these malcontents were helping to 
undermine the very work that was 
the mainstay of youths who during 
their school career had scarcely at- 
tained mediocrity in classics or mathe- 
matics. It was the very branch by 
means of which they could hope to 
scramble over the last stileJ 

A reference to the analyses of these 
competitions will show that no subject 
was so popular as " English ; " and, if 
marks go to prove anything, in none 
was the general level of proficiency so 
well maintained. Let it be remem- 
bered that the great mass of Sand- 
hurst candidates is composed of those 
whose peculiar tastes and abilities 
have been more in the direction 
of the playing-field than the study, 
and that public opinion persists 
in pointing to such youths as the 
most desirable for our officers. Un- 
fortunately for them they have be- 
longed to the less industrious of 
schoolboys, and when they come to 
see the necessity of serious study, it 
is only natural they should lean 'to- 
wards subjects in which they have not 
already been proved to be wretchedly 
deficient. There can be no just princi- 
ple in any competition which does not 
recognise unreservedly the existence 
of various degrees of ability, and many 
distinctions of special aptitude. It is 



monstrous to assume that because a 
lad is not a scholar he is fit for 
nothing; and monstrous to condemn 
him for studying the very books which 
have been written or edited by some 
of the most capable men of his 
generation. 

Easy enough is it to follow the 
train of reasoning that has led to the 
abandonment of a course of literature 
for army students; but it is quite 
impossible to understand why at least 
some portion of history, embracing a 
Military Campaign, has not been made 
obligatory. This was to be looked for, 
not only in the interests of the ser- 
vice, but as a preparation for future 
studies at Sandhurst. Instead of this, 
history is classed as one of the four 
optional subjects ; and quality is to be 
sacrificed to quantity by the vexatious 
introduction of a paper involving a 
knowledge of facts from the time of 
the early Britons to the present reign. 
Many will therefore avoid this part 
of the programme if they possibly 
can, and will enter Sandhurst igno- 
rant of the names of the great adver- 
saries of Marlborough and Wellington; 
never having seen or discussed the 
plan of a battle, and totally untrained 
to follow the lectures of their military 
instructors. Shade of the Napiers ! 
We know, at least, how not to do it. 

The second illustration is a more 
serious one, and deals, not with a 
larger body of men, but with men of 
a different stamp, whose intellectual 
aims are higher and whose ambition 
it is to serve their country in the 
Civil Service of India. 

There is no doubt whatever that the 
literary movement aforesaid is the 
direct outcome of the different stages 
of improvement in the education of 
candidates for this service who were 
examined under Lord Macaulay's 
scheme of 1855. This is proved beyond 
all question in each successive annual 
report of the Civil Service Commis- 
sioners up to the year 1878. There 
are the volumes, duly signed and de- 
livered to the public ; each one marking 
a stage of progress as regularly as the 



40 



The Depression of " English!' 



milestone on the Queen's highway. 
There is nothing theoretical or specu- 
lative about them ; nothing but facts 
overwhelmingly convincing Study 
them side by side with the Publishers' 
Circulars, and we find the relation of 
cause and effect unmistakably marked. 
To be brief, the standard was gradu- 
ally raised along the entire range of 
public education ; books were published 
with amazing rapidity to meet the 
standard ; and candidates in abund- 
ance met and conquered the standard. 

English literature and history were 
encouraged by means of rewards in 
marks suitable to their importance, 
and with complete success. The clas- 
sical examination included papers in 
Greek and Roman history, litera- 
ture, and antiquities ; and a fair know- 
ledge of the literature and history of 
France, Germany, and Italy was ex- 
pected of those who asked to be 
examined in the languages of one or 
other of these countries. The stand- 
ard, in fact, was well adjusted to the 
important prizes to be won; and, 
except perhaps for the classification of 
modern languages, the field was a fair 
one for all comers. Certainly the Eng- 
lish branches came to be the most popu- 
lar. But just as this literary and scho- 
larly movement had reached its zenith, 
it was discovered we were all wrong. 
An order from the Secretary of State 
for India in Council decreed that every- 
thiDg must be changed, and down came 
the precious fabric. As to the politi- 
cal expediency of Lord Salisbury's 
Minute there are certainly more "noes " 
than "ayes," both in England and in 
India ; but in regard to its harmfulness 
from an educational point of view, the 
following facts must speak for them- 
selves. 

By the stratagem of lowering the 
age an excuse was provided for falliog 
back into the old grooves, and of 
practically reducing the standard of 
prize winners to one of grammar and 
figures. The literary and historical 
portions of the examination in French, 
German and Italian, and even in Latin 
and Greek, have been lopped off, and 



the test in each restricted to fragments 
of translation and composition; and 
by way of dealing a death-blow to the 
study of English literature and history 
so few marks are assigned to each that 
already half the candidates have 
arrived at the conclusion that the 
game is no longer worth the candle. 
Indeed, they can no more now afford 
to give serious thought to history and 
literature, and neglect for a single 
week the orthodox and only remunera- 
tive subjects, than a parliamentary 
candidate can at the present moment 
abandon electioneering for ballooning. 
Boys are quite as self-seeking and 
alive to the main chance as their 
rulers who frame these strange laws. 

It is inconceivable that so ripe an 
English scholar as Lord Salisbury can 
have signed this decree for the depres- 
sion of English with a full know- 
ledge of what was likely, nay sure, 
to happen. There must, indeed, have 
been some most plausible and alluring 
arguments at work to have induced 
him to do in 1878 what he himself 
denounced with so much force only 
eighteen months ago. 

During a discussion in the House of 
Lords early last year on the question, 
proposed by the War Office, for changes 
in the scheme of examination for milit- 
ary students (the scheme already men- 
tioned), his lordship appeared as the 
champion of English studies, and elo- 
quently condemned the proposal as 
impolitic and shortsighted. Curiously 
enough, there was no Liberal peer 
present able to play a trump card 
in the game of party-politics by re- 
minding the former Secretary for 
India of a measure identical in purport 
with that before the House, for 
which, though not responsible for its 
inspiration, he was there to answer. 
But let that pass. The full effect of 
the mischief that has set in will be 
imperfectly understood without a few 
statistics : they shall be as few as 
possible. 

We will take the four conventional 
subjects : Latin, Greek, French trans- 
lation and composition, and Mathe- 



The Depression of " English!' 



matics, and see how they answered 
the purposes of the forty-one selected 
candidates for India last June : 





Maximum 
Marks. 


lit 


Gross total of 
the Successful 
Candidates. 


i 


Greek 


600 


32 


8 494 


265 


Latin 


800 


39 


16 941 


434 


French i 


500 
1 000 


41 
41 


8,849 
16 236 


216 
396 













Some other branches will give the 
following : 







8,3 . 


^~ 


& 




3 02 


HII 


3 S3 

-U <U 


03 




% 


o3p 


i i 


N, 






OS's 


o| 


1 




500 


15 


3 540 


236 


Italian 


400 


22 


2 807 


128 


English History 
,, Literature .... 


300 
300 


21 
21 


1,637 
1,711 


H 


Chemistry 


500 


10 


1 358 


136 


Electricity and Mag-) 
netisin / 


300 


7 


282 


40 


Heat and Light 


300 


2 


39 


19 


Mechanical Philoso-) 
phy and Astronomy/ 


300 


2 


61 


30 


Logic 


300 


3 


240 


80 


Political Economy .... 


300 


22 


1,631 


74 


Sanskrit 


500 


o 

















Science, it will be observed, is in a 
deplorably bad way ; but I am con- 
cerned here only with the English 
side. 

Everybody, of course, takes his 
chance with the English essay; but, 
as regards history and literature, we 
find that already fifty per cent, of the 
candidates are avoiding them ; whereas, 
in the old day, before the marks were 
reduced, all were glad to be examined 
in them. The statistics show not only 
deliberate depression in the estimate 
of the relative value of history and 
literature to other subjects, but posi- 
tive injustice in applying this estimate. 
How comes it that Latin, which is set 

tat nearly three times the value of Eng- 
lish history or literature, is made to pro- 
duce six times the value of each, and 
mathematics five times the value ? 
Who shall say that lads are not 



actually invited to stand aloof from 
self -culture in their mother-tongue, 
when such facts as these are printed 
for their guidance 1 

If any reader be disposed to repeat 
the old old cry that history is but a 
" cram " subject, easily " got up," I 
would bid him know this that not 
only is there a paper on the entire 
range of history, but a paper on the 
following special periods as well, in 
any one of which candidates are 
examined ; and that by way of " indi- 
cating the character and amount of 
reading that would be regarded as 
satisfactory," this leaflet is distributed. 

1. A.i). 1066 1307. Stubbs's Select Charters ; 

Stubbs's Constitutional History ; Free- 
man's Norman Conquest, vol. v. 

2. A.D. 1461 1588. Hallam's Constitutional 

History of England ; Fronde's History of 
England ; Brewer's Henry the Eighth. 

3. A.D. 1603 1715. Hallam's Constitutional 

History of England ; Macaulay's History 
of England ; Gardiner's History of Eng- 
land ; Wyon's Reign of Queen Anne. 

4. A.D. 17151805. Lord Stanhope's His- 

tory ; Sir T. E. May's Constitutional His- 
tory ; Seeley's Expansion of England ; and 
Massey's Reign of George the Third. 

And all this for what may be got 
out of three hundred marks, from 
which one hundred are docked for 
" superficial knowledge ! " If students 
cannot steer clear of superficiality 
on such works as these, where can 
they turn for safety ? Could any- 
thing be more likely to depress the 
study of history among boys between 
the ages of seventeen and nineteen 
than a challenge of this forbidding 
nature ? Of course they will prefer to 
turn to anything, even to a few books 
of Euclid, than face a task weighted 
with so heavy a premium ; especially 
when they ascertain that Mr. Freeman's 
volume consists of nine hundred large 
and closely-printed pages of learned 
comments on the Norman and Angevin 
kings ; that Professor Stubbs's great 
works must be hard reading even to 
University schoolmen ; that the handi- 
est edition of Mr. Froude's History is in 
twelve volumes covering six thousand 
pages, though, to be sure, Mr. Froude's 



The Depression of "English'' 



six thousand pages are easier reading 
than half that number from most 
other hands ; that Brewer means two 
ponderous tomes in one thousand pages 
of equally ponderous records of the life 
of Henry the Eighth to the death of 
Wolsey; and that Mr. Gardiner's 
monumental work on the Personal 
Government of Charles the First and 
the fall of the monarchy is not a mere 
handy text-book ; when, in short, they 
cast about for selecting a " special 
period " to supplement the general 
paper for which Mr. Green's or Mr. 
Bright's History must be read, and yet 
find that black-mail is levied in all 
directions, they naturally will not 
imperil their chances by undertaking 
so much unremunerative labour. 

But let it be assumed that a candi- 
date shall know his history of Period 
I. as completely as Professors Stubbs 
and Freeman, or of Period II. as com- 
pletely as Mr. Froude or Dr. Brewer ; 
he can obtain no more than full marks. 

Then let it be likewise assumed 
that the same candidate shall have 
reached the level of a Warton or a 
Craik in the history of English litera- 
ture, how would he fare in contrast 
with a rival who in the mathematical 
papers, beginning with arithmetic and 
ending with the differential and in- 
tegral calculus (not a very high 
standard), shall also make full marks'? 
This would be the result : 

Deduct for 

Maxi- Marks superficial 
mum. gained, knowledge. Total. 

. /History 300 ... 300 ... 100 = 200 

A '\Literature ... 300 ... 300 ... 100 = 200 



400 



B. Mathematics 1,000 ... 1,000 

If, again, this same mark-test be 
applied, and Latin and Greek be 
substituted for mathematics, we shall 
find 



/Greek ......... 

(Latin .......... 



total 400 ' as before - 

Maxi- Marks 

mum gained. Deduct. 



600 
800 



600 
800 



Total. 
100 = 500 
100 = 700 

1,200 



This table presupposes the pos- 



sibility of a perfectly accurate adjust- 
ment of the relative standard that 
is considered equitable ; but the 
previous tables show that in the actual 
process of distributing marks " Eng- 
lish " is made to fall yet another fifty 
per cent. Need more be said 1 

The old argument that classics and 
mathematics should take precedence, 
owing to the length of time that is 
spent on them, is only an argument in 
favour of the comparatively few who 
are blessed with classical or mathemati- 
cal ability. Almost the same amount 
of school-time has to be given to 
them, will he nil he, by lads of no real 
aptitude for them, whose abilities, in- 
deed, lean in a diametrically opposite 
direction. Ought they to pay a double 
penalty for their misfortune by being 
practically excluded from all chance 
of preferment in the public service? 
By all means welcome loyally and 
liberally the best classical and mathe- 
matical students, for they are the 
representatives of the best teaching in 
all our chief seats of learning ; but do 
not let us any longer wilfully shelve 
well-disposed workers in other useful 
directions. 

Yery tardily we are recognising 
responsibilities that are unspeakably 
important by giving increased en- 
couragement to the study of modern 
languages. With our country swarm- 
ing with German clerks (they are here 
in their tens of thousands), bringing 
with them a competent knowledge of 
French and English, doing excellent 
work at a low rate of wage, claiming 
and readily obtaining priority of 
choice over less useful Englishmen in 
our own houses of business, we are 
sadly in need of this crumb of comfort. 
Why are we, then, taking away with 
one hand what we are giving with the 
other? Surely our resources are not 
so scanty that, in order to provide for 
the necessities of embryonic modern 
linguists, we must contrive, after all 
that has been done for them, to thrust 
the history and literature of England 
into the background ! 

W. BAPTISTE SCOONES. 



SOME AMERICAN NOTES. 



THE following pages record some first 
impressions of the United States 
during a short visit in the autumn 
of last year. It is with not a little 
misgiving that they are offered to 
the public. So many eminent men 
have been to that country lately, so 
much has been said and written of 
their experiences, by themselves and 
others, that the question must almost 
inevitably arise, What can be left for 
one, who boasts none of their eminence, 
to say? Indeed, I fear, very little. 
Yet I try to console myself with the 
reflection that no object looks quite 
the same to different eyes, and that 
there are many, very many, objects in 
America. 

In the company of two friends I 
sailed from Liverpool one Saturday 
evening in the windy month of Sep- 
tember, and early on the ninth morn- 
ing of our voyage we made the 
harbour of New York. The sun was 
rising in the orange-coloured east ; on 
the western horizon grey level banks 
of mist brooded over the still sleeping 
city. Its towers and pinnacles, indis- 
tinctly seen through the dim vapour, 
looked full of majesty ; the city itself 
on the bosom of the still waters might 
have been a home of beauty and poetry. 
Soon some fishing craft came out of 
the harbour trimming their white sails 
to the breeze ; then a tender followed, 
on board of which we steamed to the 
custom-house quay. 

About two hours after landing the 
examination of our luggage was com- 
pleted, and we found ourselves in a 
commodious two-horsed cab in which 
we were jolted slowly along what must, 
I suppose, in courtesy be called the 
paved streets of New York. In the 
matter of street paving in America 
the resources of civilisation are by no 
means exhausted. Nothing worse than 



the state of the roadway in New York 
is easily conceivable \ nothing more 
hideous than the general aspect of the 
city on close inspection is humanly 
possible. Great square, clean, ugly 
blocks of buildings present themselves 
in uniform and tasteless repetition 
throughout the wearisome monotony of 
the " long, unlovely streets." The 
side-walks are disfigured with tele- 
graph-posts; the sky is almost dark- 
ened with the dense net-work of the 
wires interlacing overhead. New York 
is nothing but half-a-dozen streets 
running north and south for twelve or 
fifteen miles, and no streets in the 
civilised world are less attractive or so 
ill adapted for the purpose of swift 
and easy transit. A few hours in New 
York is sufficient to enable you to 
do adequate justice to its deformi- 
ties ; a little longer time is required 
if you wish to examine the most 
characteristic product of America, the 
humanity which is found in its streets. 
No type of national life is more 
distinct than that of the American. 
You cannot mistake a genuine 
Yankee for the representative of 
any other nationality under the sun. 
In spite of the immense influx of 
emigrants from Europe this remains 
true. The country has an omni- 
vorous appetite for fresh colonists, 
and a digestion which absorbs and 
assimilates them all. It takes an 
Irishman or a German landed in the 
States perhaps a shorter time, an 
Englishman or Scotchman perhaps a 
longer time, to become an American ; 
but they are all transformed at last. 
It is not so easy to tell in what the 
change consists, as it is to remark the 
difference. Physically there is dete- 
rioration. The climate withers all ; 
the face becomes dry and pinched, 
the movements slow and languid ; the 



44 



Some American Notes. 



speech drawls. There is no greater 
mistake than to imagine that the 
typical American is an energetic 
being, vivid and versatile in mind, 
restlessly eager in the active reali- 
sation of his ideas ; for in truth he 
is the slowest, most lethargic of men. 
I remember an American friend telling 
me a story of a fellow-student in their 
college days. One of the professors 
found this youth one day seated in an 
attitude, familiar enough to us through 
pictorial representations, which is un- 
deniably comfortable but scarcely con- 
ducive to study. " I'll tell you what 
it is, professor," said the student, " I 
was cut out for a loafer." The pro- 
fessor regarded him for a moment 
with half compassionate contempt : 
" Well," he said, " I guess the man 
who cut you out knew his business." 
I do not mean to say that the Ameri- 
can is naturally cut out for a loafer, 
but I do say that he has a languid 
and faded look. The enterprise of the 
States is largely in the hands of new 
settlers. It is they who people the 
distant west where new territories are 
born in a day. The native American 
looks as if he would stop altogether. 
When he does exert himself it is for 
the discovery of some new means of 
avoiding trouble. He is a great me- 
chanical inventor, but he perfects 
nothing. He is not without literary 
and artistic sensibility, but he has 
produced no great work of genius. 
The sustained effort such work de- 
mands is beyond the compass of his 
powers. That "artistic anaemia," of 
which Dr. Holmes half deprecatingly, 
half deploringly, speaks as a recog- 
nised characteristic of the American 
man of genius, is but an illustration 
in one department of life of a na- 
tional apathy and bloodlessness. 

Morally there is a great deal to 
admire in the American. I like his 
tolerance, his frankness, his friendli- 
ness, his familiarity, his independence. 
He is uniformly polite. He will go 
out of his way to put you into yours. 
I am afraid, however, he is just a 
little I hardly dare to say it snob- 



bish. It is a notorious fact, observed 
since society was first divided into 
classes, that those who claim most 
eagerly to be ladies and gentlemen 
are precisely those to whom Prudence, 
if she were allowed to speak, would 
suggest silence. Everybody in America 
is a lady or a gentleman, and must 
be styled accordingly. " Are you the 
gentleman to whom I gave my order ? " 
you ask the waiter in the hotel. The 
position of a nation which repudiated 
all social distinctions in defence of the 
simple and wholesome truth of our 
common manhood and womanhood is 
intelligible ; but not so intelligible is 
this national advocacy of a common 
gentlemanhood and ladyhood. No 
doubt, however, the practice is designed 
to raise the standard of manners. 
The freedom with which you can speak 
to strangers, and are spoken to by 
them, is delightful ; and if you go to 
the country for information, and as a 
student of its life, it is of priceless 
advantage. One word more what is 
best in the American character, the 
real sensibility and 'tenderness which 
vibrate beneath the surface, and stir 
now and then a naturally languid 
and self-indulgent race till it thrills 
with a generous enthusiasm, this the 
American does his best to conceal. 

From New York our first move was 
in the direction of Niagara, which we 
approached by way of the Hudson 
River. We sailed up this fine river 
as far as Albany. The colours of the 
fall glowed along the wooded banks 
and down the shoulders of the Catskill 
Mountains. In our moist atmosphere 
the foliage of summer withers from the 
trees in smouldering hues of dusky 
brown and copper ; in the dry air of 
the States it flames with scarlet and 
crimson. No lovelier gradation of 
variegated tints in a scale of warm 
colour was well conceivable. A breeze 
as soft as the balmiest of midsummer 
breathed gently in our faces. We 
passed West Point, with its military 
Academy perched airily on the rock 
overlooking the river ; we passed the 
spot where Henry Hudson anchored 



Some American Notes. 



45 



on its stream; we passed Jay Gould's 
house. Each spot was brought to our 
notice by our guide-book with equal 
and undiscriminating emphasis. 

We arrived at Albany, the capital 
of New York State, about six o'clock. 
Strolling down the principal street we 
saw a door, as of a shop, open. There 
appeared to be nothing on the premises 
save a number of curious uniforms 
hung round upon the wall. " Come 
in, come right in," said a man at the 
door, as he saw us look in and hesitate 
to enter. " We're all Republicans here. 
I guess we won't hurt anybody." 
"But what is all this?" we asked. 
"This is the head-quarters of the 
Republican Unconditionals," replied 
the man. And then he went on to 
explain, that two or three months 
before a presidential election each of 
the rival parties organises clubs all 
over the country for electioneering 
purposes, and that this was the head- 
quarters of one of the clubs of the 
Republican party. The uniform of 
this particular organisation of politi- 
cians consisted of a white pasteboard 
helmet and a white oilskin tunic with 
red facings, and each member of it 
owned and carried a torch on parade. 
A demonstration or march-out took 
place two or three times a week. The 
clubs do nothing but demonstrate 
this activity exhausts their political 
functions. We saw enough of these 
strange, boyish, good-humoured, and 
rather vulgar displays throughout our 
journey. Wherever we went, north, 
south, east, and west, merchants, 
lawyers, doctors, artizans, were career- 
ing through the streets beneath a 
flutter of flags and flicker of torches in 
costumes such as might clothe the 
" supers " for an imposing procession 
on the provincial stage. " Backwards," 
says the song, 

"roll .backwards, Time, in your 
flight, 
Make me a child again just for to-night." 

During the autumn of every fourth 
year this wish is more than fulfilled 
for the American, who is made, and 



continues to be, a child until he gets 
a new president. 

The Republican "Unconditionals" 
did not parade the evening we were at 
Albany, but fit was a great occasion 
with the Democrats. About nine 
o'clock we strolled through the town 
and up to the capitol an immense 
building, erected regardless of expense, 
and not yet completed or paid for. 
All the American State-houses have 
an open passage running through 
them, with offices on either side. 
Entering at one approach we saunt- 
ered through the long corridor and 
found that the door at the other side 
opened out on a wide flight of steps 
which descended to the street. This 
street was crowded by an immense 
concourse of people, which lined the 
pavement and surged up to the steps of 
the capitol on which we stood. Rockets 
hissed in the air, and coloured lights 
flared from the windows of the houses. 
A minute or two afterwards a gentle- 
man came out and stood bare-headed 
on the steps beside us. We quickly 
recognised him, by his portraits, to be 
Grover Cleveland. Then drums sounded 
and the martial tread of American 
politicians, and all the Democratic 
clubs in Albany demonstrated before 
their chosen candidate for the presi- 
dential chair. The procession was com- 
posed of such fantastic creatures as I 
have already described. One club, 
however, disdaining the meretricious 
ornament of oil-skins and coloured 
cloth, rested their claim to public 
sympathy exclusively upon the posses- 
sion of white hats. They all wore 
white hats, and the advancing column 
was followed by a cart in which was 
placed an apparatus which threw a 
strong beam of limelight along the 
line of the moving heads. Grover 
Cleveland stood impassive and silent 
till the whole display was at an end. 
A large strong-built and, for an 
American, close-jointed man, with high 
forehead and dull heavy look, his face 
would be quite uninteresting save for 
a certain firmness of purpose which is 
conveyed by the lines of its lower half. 



Some American Notes. 



Clever or brilliant he cannot possibly 
be. Strong and capable as an admin- 
istrator he well may be. One thing 
is noteworthy, he is an American 
politician who doesn't talk. He never 
opened his lips that evening he never 
does if he can help it and he can 
generally help it. Mr. Froude and 
Mr. Carlyle tell us that democratic 
electors will always choose for their 
leader the eloquent man who can 
flatter them, and that as eloquence is 
incompatible with statesmanship de- 
mocracies must founder. This rule 
has been broken for once. Last 
November, America had to choose be- 
tween the most brilliant talker, the 
greatest flatterer and most restless 
in intellectual vitality of all her poli- 
ticians, and this grave, phlegmatic, 
silent man who stood beside us on the 
steps of the capitol at Albany; and 
she chose the latter. As Cleveland 
retired, which he did rapidly, a great 
crowd swarmed up the steps and 
pressed into the building. Children 
anxious to shake hands with him 
followed in great numbers. "Which 
way did Cleveland go 1 " said an ex- 
cited little maiden to me, and added 
without waiting for an answer, " I 
say, hurrah for Cleveland ! " Perhaps, 
on the whole, we may say so too. 

From Albany a night's journey by 
rail brought us to Niagara ; of its 
famous falls I do not propose to speak. 
To me they were disappointing. I 
am told that if you* stay a week at 
Niagara you grow to think them sub- 
lime ; I stayed only two days, so the 
fitting emotions may not have had 
time to develop. These, it should be 
remembered, are only first impressions. 

Boston came next on the pro- 
gramme. I liked Boston. The newer 
portion of the town is handsome and 
orderly, and the quaint red - brick 
houses, sheltered and beautified by 
neighbouring trees, which clamber up 
the rising ground of the Tremont quar- 
ter, are truly picturesque. In the 
centre of the town is a well-kept space 
devoted to horticulture, and adjoining 
.this is the " common" a hilly enclo- 



sure of shady walks and open grass. 
It was the longest of the former, 
stretching from Joy Street to Boylston 
Street, which was, you may remember, 
the scene of one of the daintiest pieces 
of love-making recorded in American 
fiction the inimitable sequel to the 
story of the Autocrat of the Breakfast 
Table. 

When we arrived in Boston we 
hired a cab, and told the driver to 
show us the principal sights. He 
jumped up on his box with alacrity. 
" I'll take you first," he said, " to see 
J. L. Sullivan's house." "Who is 
he ? " we inquired. " Never heard of 
J. L. ? " responded cabby. "Why, 
where do you hail from?" "From 
England," was the reply. "Never 
heard of him there? why, he's our 
great fighting man." " Rubbish ! " 
said my friend, impatiently ; " we come 
to see Boston, a great intellectual centre, 
and the first thing you propose to show 
us is the house of a brutal prize-fighter." 
Cabby muttered that the house in 
question was a fine ojie, and then sug- 
gested driving us to the market. After 
this second proposal we had to take the 
matter into our own hands and make 
our own selection. We had a long 
and pleasant drive first, to the busy 
centre of the town, to the Old South 
Church, to the old State House, to 
Faneuil Hall, with their historic 
memories ; then round the suburbs 
through the cluster of red buildings 
which forms the University of Har- 
vard, past the tree beneath whose 
shadow Washington assumed com- 
mand of the Republican forces, to 
the house which was for so long the 
quiet home of Longfellow to the dock- 
yards and arsenal, to Bunker's Hill. 

At Boston, for the first time on 
American soil, you forget that you are 
in a new country with a short history, 
for the dust of heroes has mingled with 
the earth on which we tread. Moses at 
the Red Sea, Leonidas at Thermopylse, 
to these landmarks in the history of 
freedom age can add nothing, from them 
it can take nothing away ; and Pres- 
cott, with his "embattled" townsmen 



Some American Notes. 



at Bunker's Hill, inaugurated a new 
social experiment among men as well 
as a new epoch in the annals of their 
liberties. The great experiment, 
made for the first time on an ade- 
quate scale, whether a people can 
govern itself has been so far suc- 
cessful. And yet I think the success 
might have been steadier, and would 
certainly have had a wider influence 
abroad, if America had escaped from 
that metaphysical stage of national 
existence in which she still remains. 
It will be a great day for that country 
when her popular orators and Cali- 
fornian economists have learned that 
it is a mistake to mix metaphysic with 
politics and economics, and that, whe- 
ther the question at issue be one of 
land nationalisation or electoral privi- 
lege, all vapouring about " human 
rights," " natural rights of man," 
and so forth, is as much beside the 
question as if nowadays one were to 
introduce the doctrine of the divine 
right of kings into an inquiry concern- 
ing the relative advantages of mo- 
narchy and republicanism. We also, 
it may be, are not without need to learn 
the same lesson. The questions be- 
tween rival forms of government, as 
indeed all others of high political im- 
portance, can be safely discussed only 
on the broad humane ground of social 
expediency. 

From Boston we returned to New 
York, where I parted temporarily from 
my friends and proceeded to Phila- 
delphia and Baltimore. I must pass 
briefly over my visits to these cities 
not because they were less interesting 
than those I have already described, 
but because both these places have the 
characteristics of other northern towns, 
and there is still much I wish to say 
about the south and west. You all 
know what is to be seen in Phila- 
delphia ; you all know that the Decla- 
ration of Independence was first read 
from the steps of Independence Hall, 
and that its noble words are inscribed 
in the vestibule of that building. In 
spite of the grandeur and imposing 
magnificence of portions of the town, 



it is still in some degree rustic. The 
" pleasant woodland names " of the 
streets, Chestnut Street, &c., remind us 
of the country breezes which rocked its 
cradle. It is perhaps to the influence 
of these breezes that the women of 
Baltimore and Philadelphia look so 
much healthier, as certainly they 
seemed to me to look, than their 
sisters of New York and Boston. 

From Baltimore I went to Washing- 
ton. Washington is laid out on an 
extensive scale, but it is no more 
than a skeleton city. The buildings 
are what the Americans call "elegant." 
It is a well-ordered and well-kept city, 
artifically endowed with objects of in- 
terest, only Providence has not fallen 
in with the designs of its founders. 
There is little trade, and a small, 
purposeless population. I went of 
course to the Capitol, where it seems 
to me internal comfort and convenience 
are rather sacrificed to general effect. 
The rooms in actual use are small. 
But it is something for an insignificant 
mortal to have stood in such a large 
building. Size counts for something. 
Even Mr. Ruskin admits that it is 
impossible to be quite indifferent to 
St. Peter's when you know that the 
acanthus leaves on the capitals are 
measured by feet. 

I rejoined my two companions at a 
place than which none is more inter- 
esting in later American history, 
Harper's Ferry. The busy activities 
of that little town are silent now, its 
streets are dirty and deserted, and the 
appearance of their squalor and neglect 
disfigures one of the fairest scenes of 
nature. The government arsenal, so 
famous once, has been long disused, 
and the ground on which it stood 
was advertised for sale. John Brown's 
fort is an unsightly ruin. And yet I 
should not have liked to omit a visit 
to a place so closely associated with 
famous names and inspiring deeds. I 
crossed the river and climbed the steep 
sides of the Maryland heights. From 
that eminence a panorama is spread 
before the eye, unrivalled in interest 
and beauty. To the north and north- 



48 



Some American Notes. 



west stretches a wide billowy cham- 
paign to the confines of Pennsylvania, 
rich, fruitful, and beneficent. Beneath 
our feet the Potomac makes music 
among the rough stones which served 
so often the passage of armies, whilst 
southwards, far as the eye could reach, 
overlooked by the strong guardianship 
of the Blue Ridge to the left and the 
Great North Mountains to the right, 
gleamed like a braid of silver the 
waters of the Shenandoah. as they 
flow through the fair Virginian valley 
to which they lend their name. No 
mountain guardianship could preserve 
that quiet valley from the " red rain " 
which fell not to make its harvests 
grow. From 1860 to 1864 the tide of 
war ebbed and flowed through it inces- 
santly. In the great struggle between 
the Northern and Southern forces, the 
strategical importance of the Shenan- 
doah valley was immense. It runs for 
nearly two hundred miles in a south- 
westerly direction, with scarcely a gap 
in the protecting bulwark of its moun- 
tain barriers. But the egress from the 
valley to the north would bring an in- 
vading army sixty miles in the rear of 
Washington, and would therefore out- 
flank the capital of the Union ; the 
passage of a northern army, on the 
other hand, through the valley would 
be a march away from Richmond. It 
was necessary for the troops of the 
Union to command the Shenandoah ; 
it was the object of the Confederates to 
prevent this. So rich was the valley 
in its " well-filled barns, its cattle, and 
its busy mills," that southern armies 
lived on it for years, till at last the 
decree went forth that it must be 
cleared not of rebels alone but of 
the means it furnished for their sub- 
sistence ; and Grant sent out the me- 
morable word to "eat out Virginia 
clear and clean, so that the crows 
flying over it for the balance of this 
season will have to carry their pro- 
vender with them." 

We had intended to drive through 
this valley, but the road was so dusty 
we preferred the train. We stopped 
at Charleston, the little town where 



John Brown met his death. We went 
into the State House where the trial 
took place, and heard the details of it 
re-told by a Southerner with passionate 
antagonism against the outlaw. A 
little distance off had been raised the 
gallows where the brave spirit of the 
"grizzly fighter" left its body, but 
only to animate and inspire the friends 
of freedom, and to march with their 
armies to victory. 

Through the whole of the Southern 
States, but notably through Virginia, 
everything dates from the war. The 
change which it effected was not so 
much a change as a revolution. The 
old Virginia has disappeared, never to 
return. We can hardly now recover by 
imagination a picture of the Southern 
planter in the days of his ascendency. 
Proud, careless, and at ease, born not 
to produce but to consume, he lived 
upon his broad domains as a king over 
his dusky troops of slaves. In a land 
where free labour was degraded, too 
haughty or too indolent to work, he 
trained his sons, as he was trained 
himself, to despise the exertion of- 
honourable toil. Rich, and firmly 
rooted in his position, his influence 
determined for generations the policy 
of his country, till the election of the 
first Republican president, a quarter 
of a century ago, startled him in his 
thoughtless security. When the waves 
of the war which followed had ebbed 
away, he raised his head a ruined and 
discredited man. His fortune was all 
but annihilated. Perhaps he might 
have recovered something -of his old 
position had he remained on his an- 
cestral soil. But, too proud to suffer 
the humiliation of being seen to work 
where he had long lived at ease, he 
parted with what remained of his pos- 
sessions, and, seeking a new fortune 
in other lands, bade an indignant 
farewell to the rich valleys and proud 
heights of his beautiful state. The 
descendants of the few planters who 
remained soon broke through the old 
lines of social cleavage by inter- 
marriage with the mean whites the 
po' white trash with whom their 



Some American Notes. 



49 



fathers would not have deigned to 
associate, and the mischievous social 
ascendency of pre-secession days was 
at an end for ever. Last November, 
for the first time since before the 
great days of Lincoln, a candidate 
representing the policy of the South 
was elected to the presidential chair. 
A fear has been expressed in some 
quarters that this (recent) election 
may bring back with it the dangerous 
rule of the past ; and it was not the 
least unworthy of the many pitiful 
electioneering devices of the rival 
candidate that he sought, as it was 
not too euphemistically described, to 
"wave the bloody shirt," and excite 
the old feelings of antagonism between 
North and South. But the fear is 
baseless as a dream. The past can 
never be restored. In my journey 
through the old area of the Southern 
Confederacy I saw enough, indeed, of 
the attitude and temper of the people 
to let me know that those feelings are 
by no means dead which awoke into 
passionate life during the long war of 
the secession. The embers of its 
furious fires still burn with a dull 
red glow, but the points of concentra- 
tion have long since disappeared to 
which they might once have been col- 
lected to revive by mutual contact 
into flame. To restore the ascendency 
of the South to-day would be just as 
impossible as it was found impossible 
in the eighteenth century to reseat the 
Stuart princes upon their forfeited 
throne. Analyse the outbreak of the 
rebellion of the Slave States as you 
please, it was, after all, but the con- 
tinuance, and the close, of that great 
conflict whose commencement for the 
last time reddened our English soil 
with blood. It was the despairing 
struggle of authority against freedom, 
of privilege against democracy, when 
the lineal descendants of the old Cava- 
liers matched bravely their unequal 
arms against the full-grown strength 
of that gaunt but mighty Titan who 
lay two centuries ago in the loins of 
Puritanism. The questions first raised 
at Edgehill were at last conclusively 
No. 313. VOL. LIII. 



settled for the whole English-speaking 
race when Lee had been routed at 
Gettysburg and Sherman had marched 
through Georgia to the sea. 

Luray, in the Shenandoah valley, 
is being made famous by a lime- 
stone cave, one of those vast sub- 
terranean caverns which seem to 
honeycomb the whole region. Not 
so large as the Mammoth Caves of 
Kentucky, where one may wander 
for a whole day without retracing 
a single step, the cave at Luray 
is excelled by none, so I am 
told, in the extent and variety of 
its formations. I went to visit it 
with a stranger who was staying at 
the same hotel. The guide received 
us at the entrance, and shook hands 
with that amiable frankness which 
makes transatlantic life so pleasant. 
We wandered through the vast and 
beautiful chambers ; some of the lime- 
stone deposits delicate almost to tran- 
sparency, like the texture of the lightest 
shawl ; others solid stalagmites or sta- 
lactites, which may have endured for 
a millennium. 

My stranger companion stopped 
suddenly. " So God Almighty made 
all this in six days," he said. " Devil 
a bit," retorted the guide; " we've 
got mixed up somehow about that." 
These remarks started a conversation 
which was carried on till it embraced 
abstruse points of divinity. Both the 
guide and the stranger were strong 
advocates of free-agency, and repu- 
diated the hyper -Calvinism of some 
of the American sects. "But what 
beats me," said the guide, "is why 
God made the devil." " He had no 
business to do so," said the stranger 
frankly; "I can't excuse my Maker." 
I humbly objected that if he credited 
the Bible story at all he would find 
that God did not create a devil but a 
great angel, and that if my friend 
held to the doctrine of free-agency, he 
could not complain if the issue of that 
creation had turned out worse than 
was expected. My remark provoked 
a loud laugh from the guide, a clap on 
the shoulder and a dig in the ribs, 



50 



Some American Notes. 



which I regarded as so many tributes 
to my skill in theological dialectic. 
" Boys," he said, "it does me good to 
have a conversation like this." 

This incident occurred on Sunday, 
and on the evening of the same day 
I attended an African service. The 
barber of the hotel, a coloured man, 
was a deacon of the little church, to 
which he guided me with a lantern on 
one of the darkest nights I was ever 
abroad in. There is a college for the 
training of coloured preachers at 
Harper's Ferry where the officiating 
minister of this evening had been 
trained. He had been a slave in his 
youth, and learned to read by stealth 
when it was penal for a negro to pos- 
sess a book. If his style was a little 
rambling, his address was frank and 
earnest. " Love your enemies " was 
the text j it was not easy, but " the 
Saviour done it," he said with quiet 
simplicity. An interesting feature of 
the service was the method by which 
the collection was obtained. After the 
sermon was over, two deacons got up 
and stood behind a table placed im- 
mediately below the pulpit. The men 
sat together on the right side of the 
church and the women on the left. 
One deacon then said, "Now I want 
five dollars from the men " ; and the 
other added, "And I want the same 
from the women." Then they all 
began to sing a hymn. Still no one 
moved. They sang another hymn, and 
at the close of it I rose and started 
the collection with a ten- dollar bill. 
' We're getting on pretty well this 
side," said the deacon of the males, 
knowingly. Another hymn was sung 
without much effect; but later on a 
stirring melody about "seeing de fine 
white horses when de bridegroom 
comes," broke down the reserve, and 
when they came to the verse 

"Drive 'em down to Jordan when de bride- 
groom comes," 

the dimes and nickels rattled down 
uron the collection table with agree- 
able music. The sum collected was 
large for the resources of the congre- 



gation, and reflected credit upon the 
dark-skinned worshippers. 

I saw a good deal of the negro in 
the southern states. Not a white man 
south of the Potomac can be found to 
say a good word for his coloured 
neighbour, who in his eyes is stupidly 
lazy and deceitful. I did not find him 
so. Wherever I met the negro I found 
him obliging, intelligent, and, on the 
whole, a steady worker. I attended his 
services, I examined his schools, I saw 
him at work on the railway, and in 
the fields, I followed him to the public 
courts, and I can say confidently that 
he is not the degraded outcast he is 
sometimes pictured. " Go," said one 
Southerner in Savannah, "to the police 
court on Monday morning, and see 
how the niggers spend their Sunday." 
"At what time?" I asked. "At 
eight o'clock," said my informant. I 
went at eight o'clock. There were 
eight convictions for the offences of 
previous day ; four of the culprits were 
white, and four were coloured. I never 
saw a brighter lot of children than the 
dusky little figures sitting in the school- 
room at Asheville, North Carolina, and 
slowly spelling out the not inspiriting 
words "a hog can run." The negro 
is eager to learn, and is steadily im- 
proving his position. But the old an- 
tagonism of the races is as strong as 
ever, if, indeed, not stronger than ever. 
Relations, unjustifiable enough, but 
equally natural in che old days of 
negro bondage, which led often to a 
southern planter ^having to number 
his sons and daughters among his 
slaves, no longer fuse the races into 
one. The black man is despised as of 
old, and no one hails him as a brother. 
His children must go to separate 
schools he must travel by separate 
cars on the railway. Will it be so' 
always with these six millions of free 
citizens of the American Republic? 
It is a grave and difficult question. 
Ductile, plastic, impressionable, the 
negro takes the mould of his sur- 
roundings. In the north he is a 
Yankee, in Florida he is half a Spa- 
niard, in Louisiana he is almost wholly 



Some American Notes. 



51 



French. In an alien land, at least, 
he has not the independent vitality 
which gains respect for its originality 
and strength ; at best he is but a weak 
imitator of his old enslavers. What 
may be the future of the dark conti- 
nent and its inhabitants is one of the 
great problems of the world. But it 
is my own conviction that the tribes 
and peoples which have been sold from 
it into slavery will never reach the 
height of perfect manhood in the 
countries of their exile until the race 
from which they spring develops a 
new endemic civilisation in Africa. 
And if ever the curse is to be lifted 
which has lain so long upon those 
thick-lipped sons of Ham, the new ex- 
periment with the African must be 
made in his own magnificent home. 

From the Shenandoah valley we 
crossed the fine highlands of North 
Carolina, and reached the sea-board of 
the Southern States at Charleston. 
Charleston is an attractive place. It 
lies so low that seen from the harbour 
it appears to float upon the ocean, and 
reminds one of Venice. The harbour 
is protected by the formidable rock of 
Fort Sumter at its mouth, and the 
sandy bulwark of Sullivan's Island. 
Walking along the shore of the latter 
the resemblance to Venice is com- 
pleted in our minds as we recall the 
delightful stretches of the Lido. We 
drove round Charleston and its pretty 
surroundings. One point of interest 
is the famous magnolia cemetery, about 
two miles from the town. All the trees 
along the southern sea-board are draped 
with long festoons of a dry grey moss, 
so that the branches of even the 
stiffest appear to droop with a tender 
and sorrowful grace. And here we 
see what we see in so many towns of 
the Union, and on a greater scale in 
the national buryiDg places at Wash- 
ington, Gettysburg, or Vicksburg, a 
spot kept sacred and separate for the 
graves of those who lost their lives in 
the war. Here at Charleston is a wide 
inclosure where rest the remains of 
the Confederate dead. A simple 
soldiers' monument j and to right and 



left of it, with narrow headstones to 
mark the name and regiment and 
death-date of each, are ranged the long 
lines of the slain. Side by side they 
lie, as close almost as once they stood 
in the serried ranks of battle. It is 
a touching and memorable sight. I 
know nothing quite like it in any other 
country. Long hence, when the tra- 
vellers of a later-born generation spell 
out the letters on the crumbling stones 
which seem still so fresh to-day, they 
will know that through all the years 
of their civil strife, in south as well 
as north, the citizens of the American 
Republic never allowed the coarse 
brutality of war to weaken the noble 
sentiment which guards the sanctity 
of human life, but that for them the 
memory of each fallen soldier was 
precious, and his name not to be 
forgotten. 

The aspect of the country from 
Charleston southwards is interest- 
ing, but scarcely noteworthy. Huge 
stretches of uncleared forest of live- 
oak and pine alternate with the soft 
snow of the cotton fields, in which the 
dark-skinned gatherers of the wool 
stand out in pleasing contrast, and the 
marshy savannahs of the rice planta- 
tions. All trains in America are slow, 
like the movements of the people, but 
in the south they wriggle like wounded 
snakes along the ill- jointed and uneven 
tracks. The dust was intolerable, 
and the heat began to be oppressive ; 
but in spite of these drawbacks to 
locomotion in the Southern States we 
pushed still southwards to obtain 
at least a glimpse of Florida. After 
spending a Sunday in Savannah we 
moved on to Jacksonville, crossed 
the St. John's River and took the 
train to St. Augustine. In Florida a 
breath from the tropics warms the 
air. The line from Jacksonville to St. 
Augustine is a narrow-gauge line cut 
through the primeval forest. The 
journey is like passing through the 
palm-house at Kew Gardens, the 
breezes are so heavy with the scent of 
sub- tropical vegetation. The cleared 
soil is still matted with palmy growths, 

E 2 



52 



Some American Notes. 



and palms and palmettos spring up side 
by side with live-oak and pine. When 
we returned by the same route it was 
evening, and the fire-flies sailed through 
the silent southern night. 

In St. Augustine we stand within 
the limits of the oldest European 
settlement, with the doubtful exception 
of Santa Fe, in the United States. I 
had wished to see it. It is unlike 
anything else in America. Memories 
of Europe linger here. The old world 
is face to face with the new, and the 
ghosts of its dead passions and 
departed glories haunt the streets. 
You wander into the old Huguenot 
churchyard, and look sadly at the 
indecipherable slabs ; you stand upon 
the fort raised by the strong hand of 
Spain, still bearing the name and arms 
of her king. There is a Moorish tower 
upon the cathedral, where the Catholic 
worship which superseded the Protes- 
tantism of the annihilated colony of 
France still survives. There is no 
other spot upon American soil which 
" gathers the ages and nations in its 
wide embrace," or reads to us in the 
irony of its history so many lessons 
upon the fate which awaits alike the 
faiths and the fame of men. Dis- 
covered by the devout Catholic on the 
festival of St. Augustine, first settled 
under the inspiration, if not by the 
advice, of the austere autocrat of 
Geneva himself, it became a centre 
of Castilian chivalry in the greatest 
days of Spain. And now what re- 
mains? Of the proud might of 
Catholic Spain, a few stones remaining 
one upon another ; of the passionate 
faith of the Huguenot, a few nameless 
graves ; whilst above these desolate 
memorials of so much that once was 
great and strong tower the luxurious 
hotels in which the pleasure-loving 
descendants of the Puritans fritter 
away their idle hours, or seek vainly a 
renewal of the health they have ruined 
in excess. 

We returned to Jacksonville, and 

thence along the coast line of Florida, 

stopping at Pensacola, to New Orleans. 

Here I parted from my friends, and 



started alone for Chicago. It took me 
from Monday afternoon until Wednes- 
day morning by uninterrupted travel- 
ling to get there. As the distance 
is only nine hundred and fifteen 
miles, you can judge of our rate 
of progression. The first night of 
our journey was hot with southern 
closeness, and throughout the sleeping 
car the mosquitos hummed fiercely 
round the berths; the last morning 
the frost lay crisp and hoar upon the 
ground, as the train swept past the 
trim suburb Mr. Pullman has honoured 
with his own name, and glided into the 
station at Chicago. Nothing I saw in 
America impressed me more than this 
city. I had not conceived of anything 
so fine, so really inspiriting in its 
greatness and enterprise. Beautiful it 
is not, for nothing that the craft or 
enterprise of man has reared upon 
American soil is truly beautiful ; but 
there is dignity in the long lines of the 
tree- bordered avenues, and the vistas 
of the stately streets. And to think 
of the activity displayed in the great 
reconstruction ! Fourteen years ago, 
when fire laid the city in ruins, a 
population of three hundred thousand 
souls was rendered homeless ; to-day 
the population of Chicago, with 
its suburbs, must approach three- 
quarters of a million. There is 
no one no American who does not 
take pride in Chicago, and regard 
with as much awe as an Ameri- 
can is capable of feeling, the spectacle 
of its prodigious and unexampled 
development. And yet it is not 
America alone which should be proud ; 
for it was not America alone, it was 
the whole civilised world, which raised 
this phoenix city from the ashes of the 
old. To-day the population of Chicago 
is not yet American: it is German, 
Scandinavian, Irish, English. You 
hear all Teutonic tongues in the streets. 
The first person who spoke to me after 
my arrival was a woman, who asked 
for a direction, and addressed me in 
Norwegian. The names above the 
stores are two-thirds German. The 
women have still the round freshness 



Some American Notes. 



53 



and bloom of the Teutonic type ; the 
sap of the Old World is not yet dried 
out of the faces of the men. The in- 
evitable change no doubt will come. 
The men will soon wither into Ameri- 
cans, and the beautiful women of 
Chicago will learn to eat five meat 
meals a day. 

But at the present hour nothing is 
more amazing than this queen of the 
West, and her immense and unwearied 
activities. Thirty trunk lines, with 
their countless affluents and tribu- 
taries, empty and refill their cars in 
her depots. As in the days of her im- 
perial dominion all roads in the civil- 
ised world led to Rome, so do all the 
new highways of American civilisation 
lead to Chicago. Along these iron 
arteries of commerce the Wealth of a 
whole nation is poured into her lap. 
The forests of the north pile high her 
quays with timber ; the prairies of the 
west fill her store-houses with grain ; 
the cattle from a thousand plains are 
gathered in her yards. Her wide 
arms are ever open ; she receives and 
distributes all. Upon the sands of 
her storm-swept mere she sits a queen, 
waiting only the crown of sovereignty. 
From Chicago I went back direct 
to New York, arriving just in time to 
witness a final Republican effort on 
behalf of Mr. Elaine. Through a 
dense crowd a procession such as I 
have already described commenced to 
march past my hotel about half past 
nine o'clock in the evening ; I heard 
dreamily the shouts of the last files of 
the processionists from my bed-room at 
two o'clock in the morning. It seems 
to me that the old political divisions in 
America are rapidly giving place to 
new, and a popular appeal on the 
question of free-trade, if not imminent, 
cannot long be delayed. " What we 
want in America," said a manufac- 
turer, " is farmers. We have enough 
manufacturers." " Yes, my friend, " 
I replied ; " and when the immense 
west is peopled and your farmers 
control the elections, they will not, to 
enrich you, consent to pay six hundred 
per cent, duty for every blanket on 



their bed, or three hundred per cent, 
for every button on their coat." There 
will then be only two alternatives 
free-trade, or rupture of the Union. 

Before the next evening had closed 
in I was on my way home. I first 
saw New York beneath an orange 
glow of dawn, I saw it last against 
a crimson blaze of sunset. As far as 
the sun which kindled those skies 
had travelled since he bade good-night 
to England, so far would he again 
travel ere he said good- morning to 
San Francisco. No thought brings 
with it a keener sense of the extent of 
the American continent, of its im- 
mense, its almost limitless, resources. 

What will be the future of the 
United States ? Who can tell The 
veil of Isis is drawn across the destiny 
of that vast and busy commonwealth 
in heavy and impenetrable folds. The 
history of the American people ex- 
hibits such strong and baffling con- 
trasts as must surely disturb the most 
reckless adventurer in the field of 
amateur prophecy. No nation 
ever presented to the world a less 
united front, or seemed to inclose 
elements more diverse and irreconcil- 
able, yet none has defended its 
national unity with more stubborn 
and indomitable resolution. No 
nation has produced for its highest 
posts men more pure, or greater in 
the prime elements of simple manhood 
none has been disgraced by states- 
men more corrupt. No nation ever 
lavished upon those who have min- 
istered to its progress in the arts of 
war and peace more abundant honour 
none has dismissed and degraded its 
public servants with more ungenerous 
and petulant impatience. No nation 
ever fought for a great cause with 
loftier or more unselfish courage it 
is the same nation which has developed 
from its own experience a word which 
has enlarged our Anglo-Saxon vocabu- 
lary with a new name for craven and 
white-livered panic. No nation ever 
taught the world a deeper lesson in 
what constitutes the true dignity and 
greatness of a state none has allowed 



Some American Notes. 



its own politics to degenerate into 
such a mixture of vulgarity and child- 
ishness. No nation has produced 
jurists who have done more to animate 
the form of law with the spirit of hu- 
manity and truth in none have the 
guardians of justice bartered it for 
gold in more shameless or cynical be- 
trayal. No nation has a shorter his- 
tory none is more mature. It is the 
same with the individual and the 
race. The young American has no 
childhood, the race has had no youth; 
new without freshness, old without 
antiquity. Who would care to forecast 
the future of a country and a people 
of which such things must be said ? 

And yet when criticism has done 
its worst, and the faults of the 
American Republic have been most 
unsparingly exposed, of one thing its 
history assures us well that the same 
patient and unwearied Spirit, who has 
guided the toilsome march of mankind 
from its eastern birth-place, and 
touched with heroic fire the souls of 
men when there was work for heroes 
to accomplish, has not forsaken 
our race in the confused and novel life 
of its western home. In the great 



crises of its destiny America has not 
yet failed. When brave hearts have 
been called for to resist and tender 
hearts to suffer, the courage and the 
sacrifice have not been called for in 
vain. The history of America for 
another hundred years no one would 
venture to anticipate. It may be that 
the West will struggle with the East 
as the North has struggled with the 
South, not in the like sanguinary con- 
flict, but with equal and more suc- 
cessful determination to be separate. 
Or it may be that the manifest des- 
tiny of the Great Republic will con- 
solidate its rule, and enlarge its do- 
minion, until one law prevails from 
Panama to Labrador. Yet whatever 
be the changes of the future, if its 
citizens are but true to the splendid 
principles on which their state was 
founded, and choose, like their 
" symbol-bird," the clear, upper air 
of purity and freedom which na- 
tions neither rise to without struggle, 
nor fall from without death then the 
political and social evolution of the 
new world may still guide the old 
towards finer issues of beneficence 
and peace. 



55 



GOUVERNEUR MORRIS AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 



RIVAROL, Malouet, Gouverneur Morris, 
and Mallet du Pan, these are the four 
men whom M. Taine has distinguished 
as the most competent observers of 
the French Revolution. Of these four, 
who are alike in having been led from 
the liberal point of view to condemna- 
tion of the Revolution, the last two, 
from the independence of their posi- 
tion and the range of their political 
experience, are perhaps the most re- 
markable. The one an American, the 
other a Genevese, both were foreigners 
and republicans, both had had practi- 
cal experience of domestic revolution, 
and both had learnt the lesson of free- 
dom in self-governing communities. If 
Mallet du Pan, the fellow citizen of 
Rousseau and protege of Voltaire, had 
enjoyed the advantage of passing his 
life in contact with the great world 
of European thought; Morris, one of 
the founders of the American Repub- 
lic, had played a highly honourable 
and responsible part in the greatest 
event of the eighteenth century. And 
if Mallet du Pan, with his intimate 
knowledge of the social and political 
condition of European states, realised 
more profoundly and with ever deepen- 
ing dejection the significance of the 
Revolution, which appears rather as 
an episode in the pages of Morris, it is 
possible that, in view of the mighty 
predominance of the Western Repub- 
lic, history may justify the American 
statesman's unconscious estimate of 
the relative importance of that event. 
Born at the family estate of Mor- 
risiana, in the State of New York, of 
ancestors not undistinguished as citi- 
zens, he arrived at manhood at the 
moment when the struggle of Inde- 
pendence began ; he was elected at the 
age of twenty-three to the legislature 
pf his own state, when he powerfully 



advocated independence and took a 
prominent part in the debates on the 
Constitution of New York. Delegated 
in 1778 to the Continental Congress 
he became one of the most active 
agents of the system of government 
by committees, and distinguished him- 
self especially in the departments of 
the organisation of the army, in the 
foreign negotiations, and in finance. 
The reputation he early gained in the 
last branch of administration designat- 
ed him for the post of Assistant Super- 
intendent of the Finances. His public 
career was crowned by his participa- 
tion in the work of the convention for 
the formation of the constitution of 
the United States, which, according to 
his friend Madison, owed its shape 
and finish to his hand. He then de- 
voted himself, in conjunction with the 
great financier Robert Morris, to com- 
mercial operations, in which he realised 
a large fortune and acquired the kind 
of experience most useful to an econo- 
mist. It was in connection with 
private and semi-official matters of 
this nature, and not at first as minister 
of his country, that he arrived in 
France in February 1789. 

Morris had fully profited by the best 
training for statesmanship, for he was 
thoroughly competent in law, finance 
and politics. His personal and social 
qualities were no less remarkable. His 
features are described as having been 
regular and expressive, his demeanour 
frank and dignified, and his figure tall 
and commanding, in spite of a wooden 
leg which an accident in early life 
obliged him to use. Of a sanguine 
and ambitious temperament, his chief 
characteristic in society was a daring 
self-possession, and he was often heard 
to declare that in his intercourse with 
men he never knew the sensation of 



56 



Gouverneur Morris and the French Revolution. 



inferiority or embarrassment. His 
liveliness, tact, and common sense made 
him a most agreeable companion, but 
in conversation upon politics, zeal, he 
says, always got the better of prudence. 
His keenest interest was in the study 
of men, and like George the Third, 
who once remarked that the most 
beautiful sight he ever beheld was 
the colliery country near Stroud, his 
attention in travelling was always 
directed less to the beauties of nature 
than to the details and economy 
of the various manufactures, to the 
agriculture of the country, and to all 
that concerned the comfort and con- 
dition of the people. With such a 
disposition he soon became a favourite 
in the salons of Paris, where to be an 
American was at that time almost a 
sufficient introduction. He speaks 
with but little enthusiasm of the 
society of that vaunted epoch. At 
one house he observed that each 
person " being occupied either in say- 
ing a good thing or in studying one 
to say, it is no wonder if he cannot 
find time to applaud that of his neigh- 
bour." He availed himself, however, 
of his opportunities of making the 
acquaintance of men of many shades 
of opinion, and his judgments upon 
them are full of acuteness and sense. 
His connection with Lafayette intro- 
duced him at once to the revolutionary 
leaders. Lafayette himself received 
him with an hospitality which in this 
case was amply repaid by the efforts 
made in later years by Morris to 
obtain his release from the Austrian 
Government. He very soon indeed 
found himself in opposition to La- 
fayette's ideas. At their first interview 
Morris saw him to be " too republican 
for the genius of his country." When 
the latter showed him the draft 
of the Declaration of Rights, he 
suggested amendments " tending to 
soften the high-coloured expressions 
of freedom." He did not spare his 
warnings or his criticism either in 
conversation or in writing, but when 
he told him in plain words that the 



"thing called a constitution" which 
the Assembly had passed was good 
for nothing, it is not surprising 
that a certain coldness grew up be- 
tween them. " He lasted longer than 
I expected," was Morris's remark, 
when his friend was crushed by the 
wheel which he put in motion. Talley- 
rand impressed him at first sight as 
a " sly, cool, cunning, ambitious man ; " 
and he put his finger upon the pre- 
vailing characteristic of the mind of 
Sieyes when he observed of him that 
he despised all that had been said or 
sung on the subject of government be- 
fore him. 

His criticism of Mirabeau, if not 
profound, is instructive as illus- 
trating the side of his character 
which most impressed contemporaries. 
The greatest figure of the Revolu- 
tion except Bonaparte Mirabeau 
united genius and patriotism with de- 
grading faults of character. His own 
cry of regret, perhaps the most 
pathetic ever uttered by a public man, 
is the explanation of the contradiction 
of his life : " Combien V immoralite de 
ma jeunesse fait de tort a la chose pub- 
lique." The invincible repugnance 
of the world was shown by the fact, 
noted by Morris, that he was received 
with hisses at the opening of the 
States -General. His past made him 
enter on the great struggle not as a 
philosopher or a statesman, but as a 
malcontent and a declasse. His pecu- 
niary embarrassments destroyed his 
personal independence, and sold him, 
in the words of his enemies, to the 
court. His personal ambition, his 
want of temper, his necessity for self- 
assertion, his " insatiate thirst for ap- 
plause," led the great orator to en- 
deavour to maintain his ascendency 
by thundering against the enemies of 
the Revolution and inflaming popular 
passion; while he was secretly working 
for the cause of the monarchy. And 
not in secret only. He clearly saw 
that the annihilation of the executive 
power, the paralysis of administration, 
would deliver over his country to the 



Grouverneur Morris and the French Revolution. 



57 



violence of foreign enemies, and the 
worse misfortune of anarchy at home. 
He turned to the monarchy as the 
only anchor of safety. He considered 
that to restore to the king power, at 
least equal to that nominally exercised 
by the King of England, was the only 
way to avert disaster. His opposition 
to the declaration of rights, his absten- 
tion from the work of the abolition 
of feudalism on the day of the fourth 
of August, his contention for investing 
the king with the right of peace and 
war and with an absolute veto, with- 
out which he would " rather live in 
Constantinople than in Paris "; above 
all, his effort to induce the Assembly to 
give a seat in their body to the minis- 
ters of the crown, the constitutional 
pivot on which the fortunes of the 
Revolution may be said to have turned, 
were all public actions which might 
have won for him the confidence of 
moderate men of all parties. In such 
a union under such leadership lay the 
only hope, and with the presumption 
of genius he felt and proclaimed that 
he was the only man who could recon- 
cile the monarchy with freedom. Yet 
Morris only echoed the sentiment of 
the best men of his time when he said 
11 that there were in the world men 
who were to be employed but not 
trusted," "that virtue must ever be 
sullied by an alliance with vice," "that 
Mirabeau was the most unprincipled 
scoundrel that ever lived." 

The man to whose lot it fell to initi- 
ate the Revolution, whose duty it was 
to guide it, the man for whom Mira- 
beau could find no words strong enough 
to express his contempt, met with the 
following judgment from Gouverneur 
Morris. " M. Necker has obtained a 
much greater reputation than he had 
any right to. An unspotted integrity 
as minister, and serving at his own 
expense in an office which others seek 
for the purpose of enriching them- 
selves, have acquired for him, very 
deservedly, much confidence. Add to 
this that his writings on finance teem 
with that sort of sensibility which 



makes the fortune of modern romances, 
and which is exactly suited to this 
lively nation, who love to read but 
hate to think. Hence his reputation. 
He is without the talents of a great 
minister ; and though he understands 
man as a covetous creature, he does 
not understand mankind ; he is utterly 
ignorant of politics, by which I mean 
politics in the great sense. . . From 
the moment of convening the States- 
General he has been afloat upon the 
wide ocean of incidents." 

Necker was, in fact, without the 
highest qualities of statesmanship. 
And when this is said, all is said. It 
was unjust, as a friend and contempo- 
rary writer truly observed, to reproach 
a minister for not leading an assembly 
which refused to be led, which at every 
turn insisted on giving lessons to its 
instructor. The finances could not be 
re-established when anarchy was uni- 
versal, and authority non-existent, 
without credit, taxes, or public con- 
fidence. But although it was " as 
unjust to accuse him of the ruin of 
the finances as to accuse him of 
the loss of the battle of Ramillies," 
Morris was on no uncertain ground 
when he condemned Necker as a very 
poor financier, and nothing can be more 
luminous than his exposition of the 
fallacy of the system of borrowing 
from the caisse d'escompte, or the farce 
of the patriotic contribution, than his 
prediction of the ruin which must 
ensue from the issue of assignats. 
Morris had early realised the fact that 
the study of economic questions is the 
foundation of statesmanship. His 
writings had instructed his country- 
men in liberal theories of commerce, 
and enlightened them on the abstruser 
questions of the nature of money and 
the sources and foundation of credit. 
In an official position he had done much 
to restore public and private credit, 
and introduce order into the financial 
administration, upon which, as he said, 
" the preservation of our federal union 
greatly depends." It is interesting to 
note in how many points he had criti- 



58 



Grouvemeur Morris and the French Revolution. 



cised by anticipation the economic 
fallacies which distinguished the re- 
volutionary epoch. He had, for in- 
stance, combated the regulation of 
prices by law, an expedient which 
became famous during the Terror 
under the name of the maximum 
laws, on the ground of the injustice 
of taxing a community by depre- 
ciation : he had condemned taxes on 
money, which merely drew it from 
circulation and rendered the collection 
of taxes more difficult. The outcry 
against monopolists and forestallers 
which had arisen in the American 
colonies during the war, found its 
counterpart in the popular resentment 
during the whole course of the Revolu- 
tion against the sangsues publiques, 
who saved the community from starva- 
tion by buying up and storing provi- 
sions and money. Morris had justified 
the operations of the capitalists by the 
economy which was thus introduced 
into consumption, the activity imparted 
to commerce, and the steadiness esta- 
blished in price. The well-to-do classes 
shared with the monopolists the exe- 
cration of the mob ; Morris had pointed 
out the impossibility of an economic 
distinction between luxuries and neces- 
sities, and ventured the remark that 
" there was a less proportion of rogues 
in coaches than out of them." The 
spirit in which he watched the great 
socialistic experiment of the Reign of 
Terror the complete and even scien- 
tific character of which M. Taine has 
pointed out in the ablest chapters of 
his latest volume may be gathered 
from a question he put to Hamilton, 
"How long a supposed society can 
exist, after property shall have been 
done away," and the answer which he 
gave, " that government being esta- 
blished to protect property is respected 
only in proportion to the fulfilment of 
that duty, and durable only as it is 
respectable." 

If his previous experience had given 
Morris competence in finance, it had 
given him also in a high degree a mas- 
tery of constitutional questions. His 



criticism of the constitution of 1791 
was worthy of the man to whose hand 
much of the American constitution 
was due, of the man whom Hamilton 
and Madison had invited to join in the 
writing of the Federalist. In his own 
country he had been unjustly accused of 
a leaning towards monarchy, so strong 
had been his dread of the " anarchy 
which would lead to monarchy." 
Among a people without the educa- 
tion or instincts of free government 
characteristic of English communities, 
he early saw his worst fear realised. 
"Despotic states perish for want of des- 
potism, as cunning people for want of 
cunning." The suddenness of the col- 
lapse of the monarchy shows how true 
was the insight which led Mallet du 
Pan to say, in speaking of the various 
causes assigned for the French Revolu- 
tion, the quarrels of the parlements, 
the assembling of the notables, the 
deficit, the ministry of Necker, the as- 
saults of philosophy "None of these 
things would have happened under a 
monarchy which was not rotten at the 
core." By the end of July Morris ob- 
served that " France was as near anar- 
chy as a society could be without disso- 
lution." The government of the country 
fell suddenly into the hands of an As- 
sembly ignorant and inexperienced in 
public affairs, and Morris deplored 
that they had "all that romantic 
spirit, and those romantic ideas of 
government which, happily for Ame- 
rica, we were cured of before it was 
too late." In a passage which has a 
reminiscence of the Reflections, he cha- 
racterised the situation as it existed 
in November 1790 : 

" This unhappy country, bewildered 
in the pursuit of metaphysical whim- 
sies, presents to our moral view a 
mighty ruin. Like the remnants of 
ancient magnificence, we admire the 
architecture of the temple, while we 
detest the false god to whom it was 
dedicated. Daws and ravens, and the 
birds of night, now build their nests in 
its niches. The sovereign, humbled 
to the level of a beggar's pity, without 



Gfouverneur Morris and the French Revolution. 



59 



resources, without authority, without 
a friend. The Assembly, at once a 
master and a slave, new in power, wild 
in theory, raw in practice. It engrosses 
all functions, though incapable of exer- 
cising any, and has taken from this 
fierce ferocious people every restraint 
of religion and of respect. Sole execu- 
tors of the law, and therefore supreme 
judges of its propriety, each district 
measures out its obedience by its 
wishes, and the great interests of the 
whole, split up into fractional morsels, 
depend on momentary impulse and 
ignorant caprice. Such a state of 
things cannot last." 

It was in no spirit of unfriendly 
criticism, either towards the French 
people or their aspirations, that Morris 
wrote these words. " I wish very 
much," he had said, "the happiness 
of this inconstant people. I love 
them. I feel grateful to them for 
their efforts in our cause, and I con- 
sider the establishment of a good 
constitution here as the principal 
means, under Divine Providence, of 
extending the blessings of freedom to 
many millions of my fellow country- 
men." But he saw very clearly that 
the so-called work of reconstruction 
was but the first step in a course of 
constitutional experiments during 
which France was to pass from one 
extreme to the other from the omni- 
potence of a legislative assembly to 
the absolutism of a despotic executive. 
The speech which Morris put into the 
mouth of the king on the occasion of 
his acceptance of the constitution of 
1791 is a state paper of the highest 
importance. The opening words, " It 
is no longer a king who addresses you, 
Louis the Sixteenth is only a private 
individual," strike the key-note of a 
criticism which condemns point by 
point the concentration of power in 
the hands of an unwieldy assembly, 
the destruction of the principle of 
authority in government, the exagge- 
rated decentralisation which created 
forty-four thousand sovereign bodies, 
and made it possible, as M. Taine has 



shown, for one of them to "besiege, 
mutilate, and govern the National 
Convention, and through it the whole 
of France." 

His warnings, like so many others, 
fell upon deaf ears. The moment, 
inevitable in every despotism, had 
arrived when an incapable ruler was 
called upon to grapple with a de- 
moralised administration. " An able 
man would not have fallen into his 
situation." The retrospect in which 
Morris pointed out the occasions on 
which a " small-beer character " threw 
away one by one his chances of avert- 
ing revolution proves, with irresistible 
force, that a strong sovereign might 
even at the last moment have saved 
his country from anarchy and his own 
house from the fate which Mirabeau 
prophesied for them at the hands of 
the populace in the terrible words, 
" Ilsbattront le pave de leurs cadavres." 

It was not as Minister of the United 
States that Governeur Morris had so 
freely taken his part in passing events, 
had criticised and advised the king 
and his ministers. He did not receive 
his appointment until Jefferson's re- 
call in the beginning of the year 1792. 
At that time his intervention, even 
had his position allowed of it, would 
have been useless, and it was limited 
to an attempt to enable the royal 
family to escape just before the cata- 
strophe of the tenth of August. After 
that event, unlike other foreign re- 
presentatives, he remained an eye- 
witness of the Revolution until the 
end of the Reign of Terror. The diffi- 
culty and even danger of the times 
for he was subjected to arrest and 
search, followed, of course, by minis- 
terial apologies made it necessary 
for him to remove to a country house 
twenty miles from the capital. His 
official duties were confined to re- 
monstrances against decrees affecting 
American commerce, to the protec- 
tion of American shipping, and of 
American citizens. His correspond- 
ence, in spite of the fact that every 
letter "bore marks of patriotic 



60 



Gouverneur Morris and the French Revolution, 



osity," remained full and interesting. 
The situation of the finances and 
the impending bankruptcy formed 
the subject of exhaustive comment ; 
and he noticed the expenditure of 
blood and money, the rarity of artisans 
and labourers of every description, 
without blinding himself to the im- 
mense resources possessed by an ad- 
ministration to whom war was a 
necessity and bankruptcy but a start- 
ing point for fresh efforts. He truly 
observed that, once the debt of France 
had been liquidated by depreciation, 
she would present a rich surface 
covered with above twenty millions of 
people who loved war better than 
labour ; and that the Administration 
would continue "to find war abroad 
necessary to preserve peace at home." 
Anticipating, as he did, the inevitable 
close in a military despotism, he won- 
dered that *' four years of convulsion 
among four -and -twenty millions of 
people had brought forth no one, either 
in civil or military life, whose head 
would fit the cap which fortune had 
woven." 

His recall from a post in which, as 
he said, he felt himself degraded by 
the communication he was forced into 
with the worst of mankind, was partly 
owing to the disfavour with which 
his anti-revolutionary sentiments were 
viewed by some of his countrymen. 
It inspired a remark which is full of 
meaning. " Oliver Cromwell well 
understood the value of mob senti- 
ment when he replied to his chaplain, 
vain of the applauding crowds which 
thronged round his master's coach, 
' There would be as many and as glad 
to attend me at the gallows.' I do 
not believe that a good man in America 
can feel all the force of that expres- 
sion, and therefore I believe it is very 
difficult to form on certain subjects a 
just opinion." Had Morris lived until 
1830 he might have added that the 
full force of that expression could 
only be felt by those who witnessed 
the results of the identification of the 
principles of Jacobinism with those of 



political freedom ; for the temporary 
triumph of reaction in Europe, and 
the equally illogical apotheosis by 
liberal writers of the revolutionary 
. party, both sprang from this confusion 
of thought. 

A " high-toned " Monarchy, an As- 
sembly less numerous and elected for 
a longer period than was provided in 
the constitution of 1791, and an here- 
ditary Second Chamber such was the 
constitution which Gouverneur Morris 
considered as the only government 
which would consist with the physical 
and moral state of France. These 
were the opinions of Malouet, of 
Mounier, of Mallet du Pan, and, with 
the exception that he would have dis- 
pensed with a Second Chamber and 
given even greater power to the Mo- 
narchy, of Mirabeau. Of these men 
Morris was, perhaps, the most distin- 
guished for his freedom from doctri- 
naire views. Surrounded on his 
arrival in France by politicians cla- 
mouring for the immediate application 
of English constitutional forms to their 
own country, he was one of the fore- 
most to insist on the differences of 
national character which made such 
ideas chimerical. " A republican," he 
said, " and just as it were emerged 
from that assembly which has formed 
one of the most republican of all 
republican constitutions, I preach in- 
cessantly respect for the prince, atten- 
tion to the rights of the nobility, and 
moderation not only in the object, but 
also in the pursuit of it." " They 
want an American Constitution, with 
the exception of a king instead of a 
president, without reflecting that they 
have not American citizens to support 
that constitution." " Every country 
must have a constitution suited to its 
circumstances, and the state of France 
requires a higher-toned government 
than that of England." These seem- 
ingly obvious statements were sup- 
ported by the irresistible argument 
drawn from the political ignorance, 
incapacity, and immorality of the new 
citizens of France. " The materials 



Gouverneur Morris and the French Revolution. 



61 



for a revolution," he wrote, " are very 
indifferent. Everybody agrees that 
there is an utter prostration of morals, 
but this general position can never 
convey to an American mind the 
degree of depravity. It is not by any 
figure of rhetoric or force of language 
that the idea can be communicated. 
A hundred anecdotes and a hundred 
thousand examples are required to 
show the extreme rottenness of every 
member. It is, however, from such 
crumbling matter that the great edifice 
of freedom is to be erected here." 
Morris, in short, did not believe that 
a nation demoralised by despotism 
could be prepared for the full exercise 
of the privileges of freedom. He told 
Lafayette that it was from regard to 
liberty that he was opposed to the 
democracy, and in this opinion he was 
in accord with the most advanced 
English statesmen of that time, for 
Fox himself had expressly disclaimed 
any leaning to democracy. The 
Liberals of the Revolution whom 
Morris, with his clear good sense, 
his knowledge of affairs, and his 
devotion to the principles of con- 
stitutional freedom, so admirably re- 
presents, have met until recent times 
with little respect from philosophic 
historians, but their aims were at least 
plausible, and the realisation of them 
could not have proved less conducive 
to free government than the actual 
course of events. They possessed, 
moreover, the virtue of consistency ; 
they were never brought, like the 
Jacobin leaders, to acquiesce in the 
destruction of their hopes, and they 
had never been partisans of the old 
monarchical system of government. A 
passage, which is worth quoting, shows 
that Morris, at any rate, candidly re- 
cognised the advantages secured by 
what in his opinion was the worst 
kind of change. He thus summarises 
the consequences of the Revolution in 
1790 : 

" (1). The abolition of those different 
rights and privileges which kept the 
provinces asunder, occasioning thereby 



a variety of taxation, increasing the 
expenses of collection, impeding the 
useful communication of commerce, 
and destroying that unity in the sys- 
tem of distributive justice which is 
one requisite to social happiness. 
(2). The abolition of feudal tyranny, 
by which the tenure of real property 
is simplified, the value reduced to 
money, rent is more clearly ascertained, 
and the estimation which depended 
upon idle vanity, or capricious taste, 
or sullen pride, is destroyed. (3). The 
extension of the circle of commerce to 
those vast possessions held by the 
clergy in mortmain, which, conferring 
great wealth as the wages of idleness, 
damped the ardour of enterprise, and' 
impaired that ready industry which 
increases the stock of national riches. 
(4). The destruction of a system of 
venal jurisprudence, which, arrogating 
a kind of legislative veto, had estab- 
lished the pride and privileges of the 
few on the misery and- degradation of 
the general mass. (5). Above all, the 
promulgation and extension of those 
principles of liberty, which will, I 
hope, remain to cheer the heart and 
cherish a nobleness of soul when the 
metaphysical froth and vapour shall 
have been blown away. The awe of 
that spirit which has been thus raised 
will, I trust, excite in those who may 
hereafter possess authority a proper 
moderation in its exercise, and induce 
them to give to this people a real 
constitution of government fitted to 
the natural, moral, social, and political 
state of their country." 

But although he might cherish the 
hope that from the " chaos of opinion 
and the conflict of its jarring elements 
a new order might at length arise," 
he might well despair of the immediate 
future. That opinion was shared by 
others conspicuous in the cause of 
freedom. Washington, who, as ap- 
pears from his correspondence with 
the American Minister, early mis- 
trusted the course of events, and 
Romilly, who hoped against hope 
until the September massacres drew 



62 



Grouverneur Morris and the French Revolution. 



from him the exclamation, "One 
might as well think of establishing 
a republic of tigers in some forest of 
Africa as of maintaining a free go- 
vernment among such monsters," were 
among those who were one by one 
brought to Morris's conclusion " The 
glorious opportunity is lost, and for 
this time at least the Revolution has 
failed." 

The conclusion of the life of Gou- 
verneur Morris was no less useful and 
prosperous than his previous career. 
After his recall from his post he 
remained four years in Europe, during 
which time he visited the various 
capitals and formed connections with 
the prominent men of every country. 
In 1799, ten years after his arrival in 



France, he returned to the United 
States where, as he said, he was 
received "as if he were not an un- 
welcome guest in his native country." 
He was almost immediately elected to 
the Senate, where he served his term 
with vigour and effect; and gave his 
support to the party of the Federalists. 
In possession of an ample fortune 
and numerous friends, he delighted in 
the exercise of hospitality, and occu- 
pied himself for lie rest of his life in 
agriculture and the management of 
his property, while retaining an 
active interest in public affairs. He 
married late in life, and died seven 
years afterwards, in 1816, at his own 
estate at Morrisiana. 



63 



MRS. DYMOND. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 



BED COMES INTO FASHION. 

"With your hands and your feet and your 
raiment all red." MACAULAY. 

Du PARC was still at his. work late 
that evening when he heard a knock 
at the door, and he cried " Come in," 
without looking up. 

He was bending over his plate with 
the gas jet flaring above his head, his 
black curly hair was in the light, his 
brown face in shadow. He had taken 
off his worn uniform, and was dressed 
in an old velvet coat, shabby enough 
for any Communist. His dog was 
lying at his feet. 

"What is it?" he said, looking up 
half blinded. " Is it you, mother ? " 

" It is I, Susanna Dymond," said 
Susy, standing in the doorway and 
hesitating to come in ; "I want you to 
help me, Mr. Max. I am in great per- 
plexity, and I want you to advise me," 
and as she spoke she came forward 
into the light. " I have been expect- 
ing Mr. Marney, but he has not come 
yet," continued Susy, with a faltering 
voice. " I fear it will kill mamma 
outright to be moved to England ; I 
think it will be best to take her 
somewhere into Paris, where she can 
be safer than here ; and meanwhile 
your mother must not be delayed 
by us." 

"My mother had better go," said 
Maxwell, after a moment's thought ; 
"I will see to that. I would not 
urge Mrs. Marney's departure ; but if 
the Federals make a stand at Neuilly, 
this place may be in flames at any 
moment. You know I am in their coun- 
sels," he said with a shrug. " You see 
I am working all night to finish up 
my plates. I have already tried to talk 
to Madame Marney," he continued, 
putting down his point and rising from 



his seat. "You must act for her, 
pack everything in readiness, and I 
will make arrangements and have a 
carriage here to-morrow. I know of 
a house in Paris where she will be 
safe for the present. And we must 
get hold of Marney," he added. 

l( Thank you," said Susy. It seemed 
to ease her heart to say the words 
which are so meaningless, but which 
sometimes mean so much almost 
everything, at some moments. 

Susy lingered still. She had said 
what she meant to say ; but there was 
something more she longed to say, as 
she stood with her true eyes fixed 
uponkMax, while the words failed her. 
" Why do you look at me like that, 
Madame 1 " he asked, smiling gravely, 
and yet not without some feeling per- 
haps of what was in her mind. 

" Ah ! Max ! " she answered in a 
low voice, " I am trying to find cour- 
age to ask you to come away. You 
tell us to go, and we are going ; why 
do you yourself remain? What can 
you do ? These Communists are no fit 
associates for you. I have here learnt 
enough in the last few days to know 
something of the truth. What part 
can an honest man take in this ter- 
rible confusion except that of his own 
simplest duty? Oh, leave these mad 
people ! Your mother is your first 
duty now. For her sake, for my sake, 
if my wishes still touch you, come 
away." 

" Your wishes must always touch 
me," he said, simply and gravely ; 
"but you do not understand: my 
mother can get on without me. I 
mean I am not necessary to her," he 
said, looking steadily at Susy as he 
spoke; "but my poor mother-country 
wants me. It is true I am only one 
man in a stupid crowd \ but if I go 
with that crowd I may hope perhaps 



64 



Mrs. Dymond. 



to lead it in some measure, or to 
help at least to lead it. For I ask 
you, Madame," and his eyes began to 
flash as he went on, " if all the honest 
men continue to desert their posts, to 
take their tickets by every train, as 
they have done for the last few days, 
leaving Paris at the mercy of the un- 
disciplined mob, who will be to blame 
for whatever desperate encounter may 
arise ? I should like you, at least, to 
think of me as an honest man, and 
not as a coward, even though I tell 
you I am afraid to go, afraid to aban- 
don a party where I imagine my pre- 
sence may be of use, for another 
faction whose acts and deeds I repro- 
bate with all my heart. Caron has 
elected to stay, and my convictions will 
not let me abandon him, alone, to face 
the storm which is ready to break. 
Our place is here at our posts, even if 
we cannot keep back the horrible burst- 
ings of the flood-gates, the hopeless 
reprisals, which must follow." He had 
almost forgotten Susy's presence ; he 
was growing more excited every 
moment, while she turned paler and 
paler, and at last sank down trembling 
on one of the overturned cases. 

"I have frightened you," he said, 
stopping short, melting. " Ah, forgive 
me. There is nothing for people to 
fear who are doing their duty as best 
they can. You are in the same danger 
as I am. You are not afraid for 
yourself," and as he spoke he took her 
cold hand in his. She could not 
answer ; her reluctant sympathy, her 
utter goodwill, her generous love were 
his ; but never, never again should 
she speak of her feeling to him. She 
could only faintly press his hand ; and 
then she got up from the wooden 
case, and, walking slowly across the 
room, opened the door upon the 
garden, dim with the night and star- 
lit ; then she stopped " Ah ! what is 
that," said she starting. The muffled 
sound of a distant gun came bursting 
through the darkness with a dull 
vibration. It was followed by a 
second and a third. 

" It is the cannon from the batteries 



of Chaumont," said Max, following her 
to the door and looking out ; " the 
fight has begun." As he spoke two 
or three figures came up crossing the 
dark garden. " Good night, Madame ; 
be without fear ; all will arrange 
itself," said Max, speaking very loud 
and distinct. He pushed Susy away 
with a gentle violence as he spoke, so 
anxious did he seem that she should 
be gone. 

She went back agitated but calmed 
by her talk. It was not what he 
had said which comforted her, but 
his voice, his bright dominant looks 
breaking through the occasional 
glooms and moods she knew so well, 
the sense of capability and restrained 
power he threw into the most trivial 
details, all seemed to her full of help 
and life. He was no visionary, no 
utterer of professions ; of such men she 
had an instinctive horror. But he 
had told her his meaning, his aims, his 
thoughts, about which he was generally 
silent, and his looks spoke the truth 
from his honest heart. 

"We are all suspect, we upper 
classes," says Mademoiselle Fayard 
next morning, as she sat there in her 
skimp gown and limp gloves, clasping 
her old split parasol, the victim of the 
German Empire. She had come up to 
take leave of Madame du Pare, to 
talk over the horrible news of the out- 
break, of the dreadful report of the 
murder of the generals. " So Susy and 
her mother were also going ? Had 
they secured their passports ? It was 
as well to have passports in such 
times," said Mademoiselle Fayard. 

" Mr. Jo must go and ask for them," 
says Madame, pouring out the coffee, 
and shaking her head continually. 

But where was Jo? No one had 
seen him since the early morning. He 
had been up betimes and had started 
for the station to look for his bag, so 
Denise reported. 

" I would offer to go for your passe- 
port, madame," said Mademoiselle 
Fayard, " but they will see at a glance 
that I am not a British subject." 



Mrs Dymcnd. 



"I am a British subject," cries 
Madame with dignity. " I will ac- 
company Susy." 

" Your complexion alone, madame, 
is enough to convince them of your 
nationality," says Mademoiselle polite- 
ly. Max came in while they were all 
discussing their complexions over their 
breakfast; he looked fagged and 
anxious, and seemed more and more 
preoccupied; he also came in to ask 
for the missing Jo. 

" Ah ! those yong men ! " cries 
Madame du Pare, " they are always 
onpunctual ; he leave me and his 
inamma to get the passeports. Why 
do you notj come with us, Max? I 
am going onto see Caron afterwards." 

Max looked doubtful ; "he could 
only accompany them as far as the 
Barriere," he said, " if they would 
start at once ; " and they accordingly 
set out walking along the broad avenue 
that leads to the Arc. Madame du 
Pare and Mademoiselle Fayard were 
ahead. Once more Susy found her- 
self walking beside her friend, but he 
seemed busy, hurried, scarcely con- 
scious of her presence. A double supply 
of soldiers were mounting guard at the 
gates of Paris, and an officer followed 
by an orderly came forward to interro- 
gate them. To this officer Madame 
immediately addressed herself with 
dignity. 

" We come to demand passes, mon- 
sieur," said Madame ; "I am the pro- 
prietress of the Villa du Pare, where I 
have dwelt respected for nearly thirty 
years, and now that I am driven from 
my home by those who . . . . " 

But here her son hastily interposed, 
fearing lest one of his mother's out- 
bursts of eloquence might bring them 
all into difficulty : " This officer is busy, 
mamma," he said, interrupting and 
laughing at the same time ; " he has 
not time to listen to all your reasons for 
leaving home. Madame is residing in 
Paris," Max goes on, pointing to Made- 
moiselle Fayard, " and is returning 
to her domicile, and Madame," says 
he, pointing to Susy, " is English ; 
she is going to the English Embassy to 

No. 313. VOL. LIII. 



demand a passeporl for herself and her 
mother who is ill. I will answer for 
these ladies. You know me, my 
lieutenant." 

" Pass, mesdames," says the officer, 
politely saluting, and he turns away 
and goes into his little wooden hut. 

As he was turning away, Maxwell 
came close to his mother, and said in 
a low voice, not laughing any more, 

"Mother, I conjure you to re- 
member that if you say things to 
people in the street you will not only 
bring trouble upon yourself, but en- 
danger every one of us. Be silent, I 
beseech you." 

" This is a pretty country, indeed," 
says Madame, with a grunt, " where 
sons can impose silence on the mothers 
who brought them into the world. 
So much for your liberty." 

" Come, along, dear madame," said 
Susy, slipping her arm into the old 
lady's. 

Max looked after them for an in- 
stant as the three walked away, the 
sturdy old mother still protesting ; the 
limp one-sided member of the upper 
classes fluttering vaguely after her ; 
and Susy, straight, majestic, walking 
steadily on with her long black folds 
flowing round her upright figure. They 
turned a corner and were gone. 

The streets of Paris seemed strangely 
changed to Susanna from that chill 
morning only a few days ago when 
she first arrived. The city seemed 
suddenly awakened to an angry mood, 
noisy, excited. The sad women in 
their mourning were still coming and 
going about the streets, but there were 
also others whom she had not seen 
before strange - looking figures, like 
old-fashioned pictures of Jerome or 
Horace Vernet. 

" How the red has come into 
fashion ; how much it is worn," said 
Mademoiselle Fayard, stopping breath- 
less to look about. Indeed, it was 
remarkable that so many people should 
have suddenly changed their looks and 
their mourning clothes. 

Men and women too wore bards of 
crimson round their waists and across 



Mrs. Dymond. 



their shoulders ; one or two people 
passed in red pointed caps of liberty, 
and presently coming up the street ap- 
peared a figure like one of Gilray's 
caricatures. A huge man, with a long 
tufted beard, with an enormous neck- 
tie tied in a huge bow, swaggering 
along as if all Paris belonged to him, 
with wide coat flaps, a tricolor rosette 
in his peaked hat. Into his sash he 
had stuck two pistols and a dirk, in 
his hand he carried a cane with a long 
tassel. As he advanced puffing and 
strutting up the road, Susy pressed 
Madame' s arm in terror lest she 
should address herself to this im- 
posing apparition. 

" Oh the abominable monkey," mut- 
ters the old lady between her teeth. 

The man scowled at her as she passed, 
but fortunately did not heed what she 
said. 

They parted from poor Mademoiselle 
at a street corner; she had various 
commissions of her own on her mind, 
and Susy and her companion went 
on to the embassy in the Rue St. 
Honore. A friendly Union Jack was 
hanging over the British lion upon the 
gate. The tall English porter, with 
his brooms and pails was washing out 
the court-yard. There was a peaceful 
and reassuring aspect about the place, 
which restored their somewhat trou- 
bled spirits. The porter pointed up a 
narrow staircase leading to the 
" bureau," in a side lodge. 

" The clerk would be back imme- 
diately," he said, and he left them in 
a little inner room with a stove and a 
pen and a half dried-up inkstand. 

It was an entresol ; the low window 
opened to the yard, so that they could 
see nothing of the streets outside. 

When the clerk came in at last, the 
two ladies had told him their business. 
He said he must consult a superior. 
Mrs. Dymond, of course could have a 
passport for herself. He thought 
there would be no difficulty about her 
mother. As for Madame du Pare he 
did not know how far she was still 
entitled to be considered a British sub- 
ject. He would inquire. 



" Is M. Bagginal still here?" Susy 
asked. " He knows my name." 

" M. Bagginal is away on leave for 
a few days ; he left immediately after 
the siege. We expect him back 
daily." 

Then the young man signed to them 
to come into the second room, of which 
the windows looked upon the street. 

How quickly events arise when the 
time is ripe for them ! 

In those few minutes while they 
waited in the back room, the whole 
place had been transformed ; the dull 
street was now crowded and alive with 
people ; every casement was open and 
full of heads, women peeped from the 
garret windows, men crowded to the 
shop doors. Where was the gloom of 
yesterday, the mourning sadness of a 
conquered nation? 

Mr. Bagginal' s representative entered 
the room at this minute with Susanna's 
card in his hand. He was another 
young man of the Bagginal type, well 
dressed, well bred. He knew Mrs. 
Dymond's name, he said, while 
Madame, as usual, began her state- 
ment ; she gave a retrospect of her past 
life, her marriage, her early difficul- 
ties, she was proceeding to give her 
views upon the politics of the day 
when a sudden cry from the street 
distracted the polite attache. 

Madame exclaimed, and left off in 
the midst of her harangue and ran to 
the window, and Susy turned pale as 
she followed her. 

Up the centre of the street came a 
mad-looking dancing procession. A 
great red flag was borne ahead by a 
man in a blouse and a scarlet Phrygian 
cap. Then followed a wild bacchanalian 
crew, headed by a dishevelled woman 
also crowned with the cap of liberty, 
and dressed entirely in red from head to 
foot, followed by some others dancing, 
clapping their hands, and beating time 
to a drum and a tambourine ; half-a- 
dozen men with pistols in their belts, 
with huge boots, and a scarlet figure, 
carrying a second flag, wound up the 
procession. The whole band swept on 
like some grim vision; it was there, it 



Mrs. Dymond. 



67 



was gone, the window closed up ? the 
street was empty again. The sight 
seemed so ominous of past terror, of 
new disaster, that even Madame was 
silent for once. 

" Oh, come, my child," she said to 
Susy, who was now standing with her 
passeports in her hand. " We have 
much to do ; we must not delay. This 
city is no place for quiet people." 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

ONE OLD FRIEND TO ANOTHER. 

MADAME had very much at heart her 
desire to say good-bye to Monsieur 
Caron. " He and I are old people ; we 
may not meet again in this world," 
she said. "He has tilled my son's 
head with many mad ideas, but he has 
shown himself a good, true friend. 
Are you afraid to come, Susy ? " 

She looked pleased when Susy said 
she should be glad to go with her, she 
was not afraid. 

Monsieur Caron lived some way off 
in the Rue du Bac, and Mrs. Dymond, 
seeing a chance carriage in the road, 
signed to it, and got in with her friend. 
As they rolled along, they passed the 
head of a second procession coming 
up some side street, and preceded by 
a blue flag carried by a man like 
a beadle. 

This procession, unlike the other, 
was not on tip-toe ; it came steadily 
and quietly along, and consisted al- 
most entirely of well-dressed and re- 
spectable - looking people, civilians, 
National Guards, and others, walking 
five or six abreast, with folded arms 
and serious faces, talking as they went. 

"That is a deputation going to 
parley with the Federals," shouted 
the coachman, turning round upon 
his seat. " Everybody has a proces- 
sion ; you will see the Federals with 
their barricade in the Place Yendome ; 
these gentlemen are going to mediate ; 
that is why they are not armed." 

The carriage jogged on, and pre- 
sently they passed two stacks of guns, 
piled at the entrance of the Place 



Yend6me, where the column still rose 
supreme above the heads of the en- 
camped Federals. 

" Do you see the cannons ? " said the 
coachman, a little old man, who seemed 
of a military turn of mind. " Oh, they 
are strong, ceux-lct ! " 

"It is all nonsense," cries Madame, 
very angrily, " all childish nonsense." 

One of the sentries looked up at her 
as she spoke. 

It was a glorious spring morning, 
and the sweetness and the sunshine 
seemed to be on the side of peace and 
happier promise. The stacked guns 
gleamed, the mediators and the sol- 
diers alike seemed enjoying the beauty 
of the morning. 

A few minutes afterwards they were 
crossing the Pont Neuf, from whence 
they could see all Paris and its glories 
shining along the river banks, and 
soon they reached Monsieur Caron' s 
house on the far side of the Seine, 
where he lived in a high-perched 
lodging. 

The coachman would not wait for 
them ; they paid him and let him go, 
and walked in to the stone-paved 
court, where a porter, as usual, was 
collecting the broken fragments scat- 
tered by the Prussian bomb-shells. 
The house in which Caron lived was 
well-known to the world. Many mes- 
sengers of good and evil tidings had 
passed up its old stone nights. Cha- 
teaubriand had once lived there, 
faithful to his poor blind, beautiful 
friend of earlier days. Madame Re- 
camier had lived there, and her friend 
and disciple. Wise men had climbed 
those flights, and mighty men belong- 
ing to the world of action ; there had 
come the Amperes and Mathieu de 
Montmorency that loyal gentleman 
all the shifting splendours of those 
early days and ministers, and kings 
and queens deposed, and courtiers in 
the ascendant : the place still seems 
haunted by those familiar ghosts of 
the first half of the century. 

Madame, who knew the way, panted 
up, followed up by Mrs. Dymond. They 
rang the bell of a door, which was 

F 2 



63 



Mrs. Dymond. 



presently opened by an old woman- 
servant in a country dress, who nodded 
recognition, and showed them through 
the dining-room to Caron's study. 

How peaceful it all seemed, after 
the tumult of the streets full of the 
signs of war, of party strife, and con- 
fusion. The old man sat reading the 
paper in his dressing-gown and velvet 
toque. He sat with his back to the 
warm flood of light that came from 
the open window. He rose to meet them, 
looking surprised but pleased at their 
visit : his bright blue eyes shone like 
a young man's beneath his grey hair. 
" How good of you, mesdames, to take 
the trouble," said he, courteously, in 
his pretty slow English, " and to find 
me out in my nest. It is a long way 
up, as I fear you have discovered. 
Will you have some refreshment 
coffee or sirop? Madeline will be 
proud to serve you." 

" Oh no, nothing of the sort," says 
Madame, putting up her hand. " We 
come to take leave, Monsieur Caron. 
I did not ' wish to go without seeing 
you once more. You and I are too 
old friends to part without a good 
hand-shake, although our opinions 
differ, and you know that I shall 
always detest yours." 

Caron smiled. "And so you are 
driven out 1 ?" he said. " It is hard on 
you, my poor lady. It would take a 
great deal to tear me from my quiet 
corner here. You see the Prussians 
have had some grace ; they sent an 
enormous canon-ball into our court- 
yard, but it has done no great harm. 
Those are Chateaubriand's trees," he 
said to Susy, who was looking about 
with some interest and surprise. " He 
used to walk there in that avenue, 
and compose his sentimental poetry, 
his impossible idylls. Will you like 
to come out on the balcony?" and as 
he spoke he stepped out into the sun- 
shine. A sweet, peaceful sight met 
their eyes ; the old gardens were 
shining green among walls and gables 
and peeps of distant places far away. 
As Susy leant over the rails the 
twitter of the birds was in the air, 



and with it all the sweet spring 
fragrance of the hour. " That is the 
priests' garden next door," Caron said, 
pointing to a beautiful old garden, 
with lilacs, beyond a wall. "They 
have just come back with their semi- 
narists ; there is one of them reading 
his breviary. He is dreaming away 
his time, poor fellow ! I fear he does 
not know what an awakening is before 
him." 

Alas ! the old man spoke prophetic- 
ally, not knowing what he said. Only 
a few weeks more and the silent young 
priest was heroically giving up his life 
for his breviary. 

" One can hardly realise that this is 
also Paris," said Susy, " as one comes in 
straight from the streets, and from 
hearing the clamour and cries of those 
horrible people." 

" Ah ! my dear young lady, do not 
call them horrible people," said the 
old man with a sigh. "They want 
good things, which pleasant and well- 
mannered people withhold from them 
and their children. They are only 
asking for justice, for happiness. They 
ask rudely, in loud voices, because 
when they ask politely they are not 
listened to." 

" Excuse me, Monsieur Caron," cries 
Madame, stoutly, " I cannot help con- 
tradic. They imposes on you; they 
asks, they takes, they gets rations, 
they runs away, but they will not 
work, they cannot learn, they will 
not fight ; you will never teach 
them anything except to drink and 
shout. . . . But I forgot; I did 
not come to argue, I came to shake 
your hand," said the old lady, with a 
touch of real feeling. " I go to-morrow ; 
Max will follow as soon as he has de- 
spatched his work. He will come 
after me if you do not detain him. 
Caron, my old friend, I am here to 
ask this of you do not keep him 
from me, do not lead him into dan- 
gers." Two tears stood in her little 
gray eyes, winking with emotion. 
" Would that you, too, were coming 
into safety," she said ; that you were 
coming with me or even with 



Mrs. Dymond. 



69 



Susanna she go back to England, 
and there you would be safe. 

" Will you come ? " Susanna cried, 
blushing up eagerly. " Dear Monsieur 
Caron ! Jo and I would, oh so gladly ! 
bring you home with us. Indeed our 
house is always open to you any 
time, any day." 

The old man looked touched and 
pleased by her eagerness. "I thank 
you warmly," he said, " but my work 
is here. Dear lady, what would you 
think of me if I abandoned it my 
ateliers, my employes, my half-finished 
schemes ? " Then he turned to Madame 
du Pare, and took her old brown hand 
in his with the same gentle, courtly 
respect that he might have shown to 
a primate, to a beautiful lady. " You 
must trust me as you have always 
done hitherto," he said. " Max shall 
run no danger if I can help it none 
that I do not share myself," and as he 
spoke a bright and almost paternal 
look was in his face. " Only you 
must remember," he added gravely, 
" there are some chances which an 
honest man must face in times like 
these, and Max is an honest man." 

His words struck Susy ; they re- 
minded her of her own talk with Du 
Pare. 

Madame turned red, snorted, jerked, 
tried to speak, failed, choked. " Where 
is Madeleine ?" she said at last. "I 
will ask Madeleine for some sugar and 
water," and she left the room very 
quickly. 

Caron shook his head gently as he 
looked after her ; then he turned his 
blue eyes on Susanna, who stood silent 
with her pale face. Still without 
speaking Caron went to a table, 
opened a drawer, and came slowly back 
to her, holding a packet in his hand. 

"I have something to ask of you," 
he said. " It has just occurred to me, 
that I have some papers here which I 
should be glad to know of in a place 
of safety. Will you take them back 
to England with you 1 and if anything 
should happen to me send for Max, 
and he will know what to do with them. 
They are papers relating to my works," 
he added, and some private memoranda 



for my friend Max. I left another 
parcel in my old lodging in the Broinp- 
ton Road with Mrs. Barry," he added, 
smiling. " It is only an unfinished 
article about my society, but Max may 
like to finish it some day." 

Susy knew that for some time past 
Caron had been try in g to apply his social- 
ism to his paper-mills, and that he had 
turned the whole concern into a com- 
pany, of which the shareholders were the 
workmen themselves. It was a society 
conducted on the same plan as that of 
Leclair, which had proved so successful. 
The workmen gave zeal, care, thrift, as 
their share of the capital ; Caron ad- 
ministered the whole, and re-invested 
the profits in graduated shares at the 
end of the year. 

"You have heard of my factories," 
he said to Susy. " Do you know the 
story of the slave who fell with the 
bowl of grain, and of the swallows 
who flew to fetch each other to share 
and share alike ? My work-people are 
my swallows, and if anything were to 
happen to me, Max must be able to 
supply them with grain. Do not look 
distressed, my dear lady," said the old 
man, shrugging his shoulders, " death 
must come to us all. I care not by 
what name it comes; but I want to 
know that my children are provided 
for. I know that I can trust you, 
and for the present will you keep my 
little confidence ? " 

" You know you can trust me," Susy 
said with a sigh, and as she spoke 
Madame came back with hurried steps 
and with red eyes. " Well then, good- 
bye, Monsieur Caron. Madeleine gave 
me all I wanted," cried the old lady. 
" Come, Susy, come." 

Caron followed them in silence to 
the door. " Good-bye, good-bye ; take 
care of yourself, Monsieur Caroo," 
Madame kept repeating, as she 
stumped down stairs. 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

PAST THE CHURCH OP ST. ROCH. 

THEY came away into the street 
again, and walked in silence for a 
time. Madame went ahead, inco- 



70 



Mrs. Dymond. 



herently grunting and grumbling to 
herself, quieting down by degrees, and 
finding some comfort in checking off 
her many plans upon her fingers. 
" Luncheon, necessaries for the journey, 
a carriage to be commanded, then the 
omnibus, and so home." They crossed 
the bridge and went into the Tuileries 
Gardens. The first thing that struck 
them was that the sentries had been 
changed since they passed before. Two 
hideous little men, with straw in their 
boots, were keeping guard, and as 
they crossed each other in their zig- 
zaging lines they occasionally stopped 
and whispered together. A dirty- 
looking officer, with a calico sash tied 
round his waist, came strutting up, 
and rebuked the sentries in a loud, 
familiar voice. Many people were about, 
staring at the strange-looking soldiers 
established in the customary places. 
Most of the shops seemed to have put 
up their shutters again. Madame's 
purchases pre-occupied her, and she 
crossed the street to one of the few 
shops which still remained open. Just 
as she came up to the counter, the 
shopwoman suddenly put down the 
handful of things she was folding 
away and looked at the door. There 
was a crowd of voices outside, a mur- 
mur rather than a cry ; one or two 
people came rushing by the swinging 
glass door ; a man burst in, whispered 
something across the counter, and the 
woman, with a pale scared face, turned 
to Madame. 

" They are shooting down the people 
in the Place Vendome," she said 
quietly ; "we must put up our shutters. 
Will you remain?" 

" Oh, no, no ! Let us go home to 
mamma," cried Susy, running to the 
door with a first terrified impulse of 
flight, and in an instant she and 
Madame found themselves one of a 
tide of human beings running along 
the street. A minute brought them 
to the turning up the Rue St. Roch, 
that narrow defile where, near a cen- 
tury before, the young Napoleon, Dic- 
tator, had ordered his troops to fire on 
the mob ; along which the young com- 
municants had crowded that day last 



year Susy thought of it, even at that 
moment, flying with the flying stream 
children, women in their mourning 
dresses, couples arm-in-arm. An omni- 
bus, turning out of its way in the Rue 
de Rivoli, began madly galloping up 
the steep ascent, along which every 
door, every shop, seemed closed al- 
ready, whereas the great church gates 
flew ppen wide, and something like a 
black wave of people came sweeping 
down the great flight of steps into the 
street below, flowing and mingling 
with the crowd. One or two people 
were standing outside their doors, 
watching this flight. 

" Let us get out of the crowd," said 
Madame, coolly, as she hurried along. 
" Once across out of the Rue St. 
Honor 6 we shall be safe enough." 

Susanna in those few moments of 
time seemed to see more of life than 
in as many years of an ordinary exist- 
ence. The people running, the groups 
rallying, the terrified women dragging 
their children into shelter. She saw 
a group of hateful young dandies lean- 
ing over a balcony with opera-glasses 
in their gloved hands, and laughing 
at the diverting sight of fellow- 
citizens flying for their lives. She 
saw a man in plain clothes suddenly 
attack a little man in a National 
Guard's uniform, clutch at him by the 
collar, with an oath : " Ah, you hide 
away in your shops and corners, and 
this is why we are abandoned to 
these wretches ! " cries the assailant. 
Then a few steps further on, a 
door burst open, a middle-aged man, 
dressed in the uniform of the National 
Guard and evidently prepared for 
action, sallies forth, to be as suddenly 
dragged back by one of those huge 
and powerful megeres for which Paris 
is famous. "Do you think that I 
shall let you go 1 " she shrieks, as she 
hurls her husband back, and the door 
bangs upon the struggling pair. As 
they were crossing the Rue St. Honore 
Madame said " Ah ! " in a peculiar 
voice, and a couple of bullets whistled 
by. The insurgents were still firing 
from their barricade at the unarmed 
masses, at the formidable children, the 



Mrs. Dymond. 



71 



dangerous nursemaids and servant 
girls. Once across the Rue St. 
Honore, as Madame said, they were 
in comparative safety ; but one more 
alarm was reserved for them. In the 
street leading to the Boulevard they 
suddenly found themselves surrounded 
by soldiers. In a moment they saw 
that these were not insurgents, but 
National Guards belonging to the 
party of order, with broad blue sashes 
round their waists. One of them, a 
big, fair young man, stopped short, 
and stamped his foot in furious help- 
less rage and indignation as he looked 
up at the lounging young men in the 
balcony overhead. " The country in 
ruin, and not one of you cowards to 
answer her call/' he cried, shaking his 
list at them with impotent fury. An 
older officer said something, pointed 
somewhere, and the little band hurried 
on, glittering, clanking, helpless against 
the great catastrophe. 

On the Boulevards everything was 
quiet and silent. The place seemed 
almost deserted ; a few people were 
resting on the benches, the sun shone, 
the surly women were selling their 
newspapers in the little kiosks, upon 
which the various placards and appeals 
of the day were fluttering. Susy saw 
one despairing cry from a friend of 
order, headed 

" LIBERTY, FRATERNITY, EQUALITY. 

" I appeal to the manhood, to the 
patriotism of the population, to those 
desiring tranquillity and respect for 
law. Time presses ; a barrier is ab- 
solutely needed to stem the tide of 
revolution ; let all good citizens give 
me their support. 

" (Signed) A. BONNE, 

" Captain Comm., 1st Company, 253 Batt" 

Alongside of this, and indefinitely 
multiplied, were the Federal mani- 
festos in their official type and paper 

"Citizens! the day of the 18th of 
March will be known to posterity as 
the day of the justice of the people ! 
The government has fallen, the entire 
army, rejecting the crime of fratricide, 



has joined in one cry of 'Long live 
the Republic, long live the National 
Garde ! ' No more divisions ; perfect 
unity, absolute liberty are before us." 

" Come, come ; do not waste your 
time upon that barbouillage," cries 
Madame ; " here is our omnibus." And 
as she spoke she hailed a yellow omni- 
bus that was quietly jogging in the 
direction of Neuilly. 

Everything was as usual when they 
got back to the Yilla, but Susy found 
to her dismay that Jo was still away. 
Max came in almost immediately after 
them ; he seemed to have been chiefly 
concerned for their safety. 

" Jo could take care of himself," he 
said. " He must follow them later in 
the day if he did not get home before 
they left." The carriage was ordered 
at five o'clock, and the porter of the 
house they were going to had been 
forewarned. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

FUNERALIA. 

" Seul avec sa torche/' V. HUGO. 
THERE was a great deal to be done 
before the time which Susanna had 
agreed upon with Max, when her 
mother was to be removed into Paris. 
Everything had to be quietly prepared ; 
but the boxes were packed, and all was 
in readiness at the time appointed. 
Adolphe was outside waiting to help 
to carry Mrs. Marney in his strong 
maimed arms, Susy anxiously came 
and went, looking out for the carriage. 
She gathered a last bunch of lilac and 
brought it up to her mother's room. 
She felt her heart sink as she thought 
of the pain she must give. 

" Let me tie the flowers up for you," 
cried Denise, meeting her in the door- 
way, and anxious to show her good- 
will. 

" Susy," said Mrs. Marney, as her 
daughter came into the room, fol- 
lowed by Denise carrying the lilac, 
" come and sit down here beside me, 
dear. Michael has been here. He is 
coming again." She spoke gently; a 



72 



Mrs. Dymoni 



very sweet expression was in her 
:ace. 

" When was he here, mamma ? " said 
Susy, surprised. "I have only been 
away a few minutes." And then in 
a moment she knew that it was all a 
sick woman's hallucination. 

"He left as you came i~ito the 
room. He wanted to see me. He 
came and stood by my bedside," said 
Mrs. Marney. " He comes when I am 
alone. I tell him he must not neglect 
his work for me ; but he knows I like 
him to come." 

Her expression was so sweet, so 
strange, that Susy was still more 
frightened she took her mother's 
hand ; it was very cold. 

" How sweet those lilacs are," Mrs. 
Marney went on. " The hot weather 
is here ; I have been thinking the boys 
will be wanting their summer clothes. 
Susy, will you see to them when you 
go back? You must not stop away 
any longer with me, dear. It is a 
rest to my heart to know my boys 
are in your care." 

Susanna could not speak. She heard 
the wheels stop at the gate outside, 
and the thought of tearing her dying 
mother away seemed to her so cruel, 
so unnatural, that suddenly she felt, 
whatever happened, Mrs. Marney must 
be left in peace. It was at this moment 
that the door opened, and Du Pare 
came in quietly, followed by Adolphe, 
prepared to carry the poor lady away. 
Susy put up a warning hand as they 
approached. 

Mrs. Marney smiled, seeing Max. 
"Ah, Max," she said, "have you 
come for us? Take her away; take 
care of her. I have no strength to go 
with you, my dears. I shall stay 
quiet now, Susy," she said, putting 
out her hand. As Susy caught her in 
her arms she gave a deep sigh, and 
her head fell upon Susy's shoulder 
Max sprang to the bedside. 

"She is gone!" said Adolphe, in a 
whisper. "Poor lady ! poor lady ! " 

She was quiet at last, lying with 
closed eyes, with her hands crossed 



above the heart which ached no more. 
Susanna had sat all night long by her 
mother's bed. She had ceased to weep 
when morning came. She sat almost 
as quiet as her dead mother. Only 
yesterday, as it seemed to her, she 
had watched by another death -bed. 
Here again the awful hand had come 
across her path, dividing those living 
still from those who had lived. Susy 
was a child to no one any more all 
her past, all her childhood, was gone. 
The room was in order. Madame and 
Denise had helped to put it straight ; 
there were more flowers out of the gar- 
den, a mass of spring blossom, which 
Max had brought to the door in his 
arms and given to his mother. Every- 
thing was put straight for ever. There 
would be no more work done, though 
the work-basket was still heaped ; no 
more travelling, though Mary's boxes 
were packed ; no more talks, no more 
troubles. Marney 's strange trade of 
pen and ink, had travelled elsewhere ; 
so had the cheerful noises and shouts 
of the little boys that she had 
so loved to hear. Mary wanted no- 
thing any more. She had longed for 
her husband, and she had seen him, 
though he had not come to her ; her 
daughter was by her side and held her 
hand, and death cannot seem anything 
but peaceful to a mother with her 
child to tend her to the end. 

A sort of altercation on the landing 
outside seemed strangely at variance 
with the stillness of the room. Ma- 
dame's indignant " Oh ! no, no, you 
cannot pass like that," aroused Mrs. 
"Dymond. She went to the door and 
opened it quietly. "What is it?" 
she said as she did so, and, not for t he 
first time in her life, she came face to 
face with Marney, heated, excited 
strangely excited. 

" I have travelled all night, and 
this old devil would keep me away 
from my poor Polly," he cried. " She 
wants me, alive or dead, my poor, poor 
Polly ! and that is why I am here," 
he went on. "D'ye hear, Mrs. Dy- 
mond ? For all your money and 
grandeur, ye didn't love your husband 



Mrs. Dymond. 



73 



as your mother loved me. Don't 
bear malice ! " he cried, more and more 
wildly. " You can give me a kiss, 
though you always hated me," and he 
caught Susy in his arms, and then 
pushed her roughly away, and went 
up to the coffin with a reeling step. 
" Polly!" he said, "why didn't you 
wait for me? you knew I should 
come if I could ! Ah ! it's the first 
time you ever failed me, my poor 
girl ! I travelled all night. I could 
not have got through the night but 
for a dram," he cried, excitedly. 

While he was still speaking thus 
incoherently, standing by the coffin, 
the sound of music outside came into 
the room through the open windows. 
It was the funeral march of a military 
band following some famous patriot 
to his grave. To Susy, in her highly- 
strung condition, the sound seemed 
almost supernatural. She laid her 
hand on Marney's arm, then, with one 
look at her mother's face, she burst 
into tears, and went out of the room. 
She met Max on the stairs hurrying 
up with a pale face ; the thought of 
her trouble quite unnerved him. 

" My mother sent me for you," he 
said. "Is Marney there? Has he 
frightened you ? " 

She put her hand to her head. 
"No," she said, "but I cannot stay 
with him alone." 

They could hear him walking up 
and down excitedly, talking and call- 
ing piteously for some one to come to 
him. Then the steps ceased, the music 
went dying up the street, other steps 
came sounding on the wooden stairs. 
Madame' s friend, the young under- 
taker and his man, came tramping up 
the wooden stairs, and all the dreary 
preparations for the funeral went on. 

The patriot's procession, meanwhile, 
travelled on its way, the car, covered 
with flags, slowly winding through 
the streets of Paris; people looked 
on, or fell into its train. For two 
hours it paraded thus, amid cries 
and shouts, and in time to the beat 
of the muffled drums and to the 



crashing music of a band which was 
conducted, so it was said, by the great 
Bergeret himself. It was late in the 
afternoon before it reached the gates 
of Montmartre, where the women 
were selling their wreaths and immor- 
telles. The great funeral had hardly 
passed on its way when a second 
humble procession appeared a bier, 
drawn by a single horse, and driven 
by Madame's friend, the young under- 
taker, followed by a carriage with 
some travelling cases on the top. 
Marney was sitting on the box by the 
driver of the carriage ; Madame du 
Pare, her son, and her servant and 
Susanna were inside. The carriage 
drew up by the roadway; Adolphe, 
who had come upon the bier, now 
joined them, and they all passed in 
together along an avenue of graves 
and lilacs. The place was looking 
beautiful in the setting sunlight for 
miles around they could see the country 
lighted by its rays. They came to the 
quiet corner where poor Mary's grave 
had been dug under the golden 
branches of an acacia tree. As they 
all stood by the open grave, united 
together for the last time by their 
common feeling for the woman who 
was gone, the muffled drums and 
funeral strains from the patriot's grave 
still reached them from a distance. 
When Mary Marney was laid to her 
last rest, and the prayers were over, 
the officiating clergyman turned aside, 
pulling off his surplice and carrying it 
on his arm, and went and mingled with 
the crowd round about the hero's grave. 
The end of his funeral eulogium was 
being pronounced his last words had 
been "Vive la Commune!" said a man 
in a black tail coat and a red sash, 
and suddenly all the people round 
about took up the cry. Susy heard 
them cheering as she stood by her 
mother's grave, she was still very 
calm, awe- stricken, and silent ; she 
had stayed alone after the others had 
all gone on. When she reached the 
iron gates by which they had come 
in, she found her stepfather waiting 
for her. His hat was over his eyes; 



Mrs. Dymond. 



it may have been the light of the 
setting sun which dazzled him. He 
did not look round, but he spoke as 
she came up to him. 

" You will go and see the boys and 
tell them," he said. " I know that for 
her sake you will be a good friend to 
them. As for me, do not fear that I 
shall trouble you. You can write to 
the office if you have anything to say. 
I will send remittances from time to 
time." 

" Do you wish me to take care of 
the boys altogether? " Susy asked. 

"Just as you like," said he, turn- 
ing away with a sigh. " Your mother 
would have wished it so. You are 
more fit than I am." A. minute more 
and he was gone. It was the last time 
they ever met. Susy parted from him 
with something more like charity in 
her heart than she could have be- 
lieved possible. He had made no pro- 
fessions, he had left his boys in her 
charge ; and while Susy had Dermy 
and Mikey to care for she still seemed 
able to do something for her mother. 
Madame du Pare, who had stood wait- 
ing a little way off, now also came up 
to take leave. 

" I, too, must say farewell, my 
child," said the old lady with some 
solemnity ; " I can delay no longer, 
and you are returning to your home. 
My son will see you off. Ah ! Susy, 
we shall miss you sorely." 

Susy could not speak ; she bowed her 
head, took her old friend's hand in 
hers, and suddenly flinging her arms 
round her neck she burst into tears 

** God bless you, my dear child. 
Write very soon and tell me of your- 
self, of your safe return," said the old 
lady. Then looking about for the 
coachman, " Ah ! it is insupportable ! 
That man is not there. I shall miss my 
train ; " and madame, with renewed 



animation, trotted off towards the 
crowd. She came back a minute after- 
wards, followed by the coachman and 
her friend the undertaker. Max and 
Adolphe arrived at the same minute 
with a second carriage for Susanna, 
which they had been in search of. As 
the ^undertaker helped madame into 
the carriage, there came a parting 
cheer from the friends of the fallen 
patriot. 

" Listen to them," said the man, 
shutting the door with a bang, "as if 
it were not better to die ore's proper 
natural death (sa belle mort naturelle) 
than to be shot and shouted over like 
this ! " Max had delayed a moment to 
say a word to Susanna, 

" I must see my mother off," he 
said. "It is more than likely you 
may find the Neuilly road blocked up ; 
if you cannot get home, drive to this 
address, and wait till I come," and he 
wrote something on a card and gave 
her a key. " It is the house to which 
I hoped you might have taken her for 
safety, it is that of a friend ; you will 
find no one there," he added. 

Susy was anxiously hoping to get 
back and to find Jo at the villa, but 
when they reached the Avenue de 
Neuilly, she found that Max's warning 
was well advised. The way was im- 
passable, a barrier had been erected; 
the Federals had established them- 
selves; it was hopeless to try to re- 
turn to the villa. 

" Don't fear, madame. I will get 
through the line," said Adolphe, see- 
ing her look of disappointment. " I 
will find Mr. Jo and bring you news 
of him later." And when Susy faintly 
exclaimed, "I show them my hands, 
and they always let me pass," said the 
poor fellow laughing ruefully, and 
before she could say another word he 
was gone. 



To be continued. 



75 



AN INDIAN VILLAGE. 



A STEEP incline leads down the side 

of a hill to the village of K . 

The road is ankle-deep in loose 
sand, ruddy as the flesh tints of 
the inhabitants of the country. The 
fronds of the palms and the leaves of 
the tamarind trees, yellow and sear 
with the first heats of summer, fall 
fast to the earth. Every now and 
again a gust of scorching hot wind 
stirs thick clouds of blinding dust, as 
thick almost and as suffocating as 
those of the simoon. Bank and 
dyke are gay with verdant cactus, 
flowering thorn, festoons of air-roots 
hanging in garlands, gigantic feather 
grasses with flossy plumes, and field 
flowers bright with all gorgeous hues. 
Crows caw querulously from the boughs 
of banyan and peepul tree, preening 
their wings in solemn convocation. 
There is a rustle of insect life in the 
scrubby underwood. Ruby - tailed 
dragon-flies float lazily by. Bright 
green parrots with scarlet beaks circle 
in the hot, quivering air. The tan- 
gled gossamer skeins of the spider still 
sparkle with the heavy dews of the 
tropical night. The bee drones out 
his unending tune, and swarms of 
gnats circle ceaselessly under the cas- 
sei'ina trees. 

The rocky bluffs of the surrounding 
amphitheatre of hills glitter in the 
blinding glare of the sun, but the 
deep gullies and ravines, where the 
torrents of the rainy seasons have 
worked their furious will, are filled 
with cool blue shadows. As their 
jagged, tormented slopes spread up- 
wards into flat table-lands, each peak 
and crag and swelling buttress tells 
its tale of the wars and convulsions in 
Nature's history. At their feet a 
trembling mist slowly creeping sky- 
wards heralds the fierce heat of the 
full day. 



A few herds of goats and cows 
have already clambered up the rocky 
spurs to browse on grass white as flax, 
or earn a scanty and precarious subsis- 
tence from the sun-lit jungle, or the 
famished verdure of the last monsoon. 
In charge of these poor brutes are wild 
country folk, slightly made, with thick 
lips, coarse hair, and skins that almost 
rival the negro's in blackness. They 
wear no other garment than a coloured 
rag round the loins. The unkempt 
locks of the girls fall on to their 
shoulders in a glorious tangle ; neck- 
laces of coarse blue beads and armlets 
are their ornaments, and huge nose- 
rings bob over their gaping mouths. 

The village lies at the foot of the hills, 
by the side of a tank, partly lined 
with walls of rude masonry, and 
fringed with cocoa-nut palms, planted 
in quincuncial fashion and growing 
marvellously straight. Over its 
shallow waters, glittering in the 
morning light like a huge emerald, 
float reeds and sedges and shiny pond 
weeds. The shore a zone of deep 
mud is pitted with the hoofs of 
goats, cows, and buffaloes ; two or 
three of the latter are even now at 
their bath, their square nostrils and 
black humps just peeping above the 
water. Women are scrubbing their 
brass pots and pans with dirt and 
sand, or washing their own gay 
clothes, whilst the men are engaged 
in more personal ablutions, removing 
the oil from their bodies or the 
dust from their feet. A Brahmin is 
putting up his prayers and muttering 
Sanscrit mantras, which he does not 
understand, before a small temple 
with conical roof. Through the dirty 
green surface a water snake is wrig- 
gling his way ; some rats are out 
foraging ; a bald - headed adjutant- 
bird, balancing on one leg, mounts 



76 



An Indian Village. 



guard over the lizards basking on the 
shelving bank ; the heron and the 
kingfisher add their share of life to 
the strange scene. Women and girls, 
with noiseless steps but loud chatter- 
ing tongues, pass to and fro from the 
tank to the village, bearing on their 
heads water-pots of all sizes and 
shapes. When one remembers that 
the village water supply is entirely 
dependent on this general bathing- 
place, where mud and water mix in about 
equal proportions, the frequent pre- 
sence of the cholera is not surprising. 
The huts of the village, amounting to 
perhaps two hundred little homesteads, 
stretch in irregular lines on either 
side of the high road without any 
topographical justification, and are 
separated from each other by ill- 
defined muddy tracks, or hedges 
of prickly pear, which are but feeble 
defences against the wild beasts of 
the jungle. Very rough structures 
are these huts. The peaked roof is 
wrought of interlaced logs and 
branches, thatched either with straw 
or palm leaves, or covered with ruddy 
clay tiles. The walls are mostly of 
caked mud or matting, but here and 
there one sees a stronger support of 
stone or brick. They rarely stand 
more than eight feet high, and the 
eaves of the projecting roofs form a 
verandah on all sides. The floor is 
either of the bare earth, or concrete 
called chunam ; a wooden floor would 
be more expensive, less durable, and be, 
moreover, a too convenient harbourage 
for insects. One hut is in process of 
building. Bamboos, full of knots, and 
brambles are being reared to form an 
unsubstantial roof a frail defence 
against the deluges of rain, the tor- 
nadoes of wind, and other formidable 
operations of tropical nature. Women 
in a circle, with light wooden rammers, 
are laying down the concrete floor, 
and lightening their labours with the 
nasal strains of some country song. 
A white bullock stalks gravely round 
and round, crushing mortar in a 
primitive press with a pre-adamite 
cylindrical roller. 



All the huts are one storied, and 
they are as squalid and untenantable 
as the shanties and cabins of the Irish 
poor. The roofs are strewn about 
with baskets, damaged hen-coops, and 
cotton cloths fifteen to twenty feet 
long. Tufts of weed and coarse grass 
and spiky brambles grow out of every 
available cranny in the thatch or in 
the tiles, but there are no lovely 
lichens or mosses as in the Emerald 
Isle. Here and there a rude attempt 
to decorate these dirty, ragged tene- 
ments appears to have been made, for 
grotesque figures in chalk and ver- 
milion are daubed on either side of 
the doors, and in several walls 
are whitewashed, with empty niches 
for idols and gods. A few have open 
holes, which do double duty as win- 
dows and chimneys. These apertures 
are barred and closed in the cold or 
rainy season with boards or shutters 
of country manufacture. Glass is ap- 
parently unknown in the village, and 
if it were known would probably be a 
luxury above the pockets of the vil- 
lagers ; nor are windows necessary in 
a tropical country, except during the 
monsoon. Bolstered up with sticks 
and stakes, the walls, of matting, mud, 
or stone, are so cracked and torn that 
one can see into the lives of the people 
within, and it is a marvel how the 
buildings continue to hold together. 
The inmates of each homestead herd 
in patriarchal fashion, and in a fashion, 
it may also be said, sadly irreconcilable 
with health. Each dismal, dirty abode 
contains, for furniture, a few stools, a 
native bed or two, a few brass vessels, 
and articles of dress worth perhaps 
ten to fifteen shillings, which do occa- 
sional duty as carpets. It will be 
centuries yet before the family ex- 
penses of the Hindu ryot come up to 
those of the English landed proprietor I 
The sacred little shrub dedicated to 
Yishnu, sprouts from a blue and white 
pot in front of some of these family 
hives. 

About fifty of these huts constitute 
the village bazaar, or market. One 
general dealer's store succeeds that of 



An Indian Village. 



77 



another. The shopkeeper squats amid 
his miscellaneous wares, cross-legged, 
like a big grasshopper, on the raised 
floor. Baskets of cane or bamboo, con- 
taining onions, millet, peas, seeds of 
all sorts, and the simple vegetable 
food of an Eastern people, are piled 
up in rows behind him. Strings of 
plantains hang in front of the stall, 
and of glutinous sweetmeats, in the 
form of wheels, elephants, elephant- 
headed gods, and a thousand more 
devices, which, with other lollipops, 
are consumed in large quantities by 
every man, woman, and child in the 
village. The display of fruit is limited 
to water-melons, jack-fruit, pummeloes, 
and plantains, and in front seeds are 
spread out to dry on gunny-bags. 
Unlike the town dealer, the rural 
shopkeeper does not decorate his store 
with gold and silver tissue paper, nor 
does he, even on holidays, hang yellow 
flowers on his dirty, treacherous, little 
scales. In a wooden bowl, or in his 
loin cloth, he keeps his stores of copper 
money ill- shaped pice, and cowries 
or shell money and in some secret 
cranny in the walls or floor of his hut 
he buries an occasional silver bit. 
Paper money rarely, if ever, finds its 
way to his till. 

From the huts a stream of animal 
life finds its way into the road. Skinny 
fowls peck here and there in the refuse 
heaps, greedily gobbling up an un- 
savoury variety of quaintly-flavoured 
food, which renders them uneatable to 
Europeans. Cattle saunter out from 
the unventilated cowsheds of matting. 
Long-haired mangey curs, black and 
white and spotted, yelp around the 
miserable buffaloes on their way to 
the arid deserts which represent their 
pastures. Not a cat is to be seen in 
the village, but goats innumerable. 
A seedy-looking parrot, moulting in a 
tumble-down wooden cage, and a 
monkey, represent the village pets. 
Hogs and pigs are as conspicuous by 
their absence as butchers' shops. Little 
naked urchins, their heads shaved ac- 
cording to the rules of caste, and their 
eyes blackened with kohl, wearing 



charms round neck and loins, scamper 
after their mothers, or hug them as 
they straddle across their hips like 
little black apes. Cakes of cowdung, 
used for fuel, are drying in the sun- 
light by the roadside, or against the 
walls. It is one of the chief occupa- 
tions of the Indian villager's wife to 
make the cowdung into cakes, and she 
may be seen at every hour of the day 
gathering the precious ordure for the 
family hearth into wicker-work 
baskets. 

The male population are but scantily 
clothed. Round the loins they wear a 
cloth, which leaves their thin legs bare. 
Each man wears the turban, a dirty 
sheet coiled negligently round the head. 
The prevalent taste appears to incline 
to white, but red and blue turbans are 
also seen. Rough sandals, or shoes 
studded with brass-headed nails, and 
turned up at the toes, protect the black 
feet from the baking heat of the earth. 
Few foreheads are marked with the 
caste-mark, but some of the cultivators 
wear dirty little Brahminical threads, 
and charms are tied round most necks. 
When on a journey they carry rough 
country blankets, or cumblies, striped 
in black and white, which, when worn 
over the head and body, protect them 
from the chill dews of night. For self- 
defence some of them use stout sticks, 
which they are very expert in wielding 
like quarter staves; but one never 
sees here the queer old swords and 
cutlasses that the peasantry carry in 
some parts of Hindoostan. 

The females drape themselves in a 
very graceful manner in one long 
cotton cloth, with decorated borders, 
which, after being wound round the 
loins, so as to leave the legs uncovered 
half way up to the thigh, is thrown 
over the back and head, and brought 
down over the face as a sort of veil. 
A short-sleeved bodice falling to the 
waist is worn under this cloth. Ban- 
gles of glass and shell glitter on the 
bare arms, and a few girls wear rings 
in their noses and on their toes. These 
ornaments are of the commonest mate- 
rial glass, brass, or tinsel paper and 



78 



An Indian Village. 



their clothes are purchased from the 
itinerant Mohammedan hawkers, who 
carry their whole stock-in-trade, of 
cotton prints and gaudy chintzes and 
handkerchiefs, under their arms. The 
hair of both women and girls is worn 
in the same fashion, parted in the 
centre and tied at the nape of the neck 
in a neat little plait. Cocoa-nut oil is 
plentifully applied to keep the dark 
tresses glossy and smooth, and on holi- 
days a wreath of yellow flowers, or a 
brass ornament, is added. The village 
tank is the great gossiping place ; but 
their hours for unrestrained gossip are 
not many. To their lot fall all 
the domestic duties, and throughout 
the day they are to be seen winnowing 
corn, grinding grain, husking rice with 
pestle and mortar, or turning the 
handmill. They appear to be exces- 
sively fond of their children, and are 
certainly models of industry. Do- 
mestic drudges, beasts of burden, 
agricultural labourers, exposed to all 
the inclemency of the seasons, none of 
them have any pretensions to beauty. 
They are an ugly, but gentle race. 
Their carriage, however, is perfect, and 
they stride along straight as arrows 
a habit no doubt due to the constant 
balancing of burdens on the head. 

The amusements of the village are 
simple. The favourite game of the 
boys is a kind of prisoner's base. 
Birds' nesting enters not into their 
pastimes, nor have the mysteries of 
cricket yet penetrated into this dis- 
trict. The men lounge on their veran- 
dahs, smoking the family hubble- 
bubble filled with bhang prepared 
from the stalks and leaves of the 
hemp plant, or indulging in desultory 
conversation as soporific as the social 
atmosphere of the Neapolitan lazza- 
rone. The village public-house a 
squalid structure with a corrugated 
iron roof, a table laden with country 
liquors, and a dirty little flag by way 
of signboard offers its solace to a few 
convivial spirits. In the main road, 
perhaps, a juggler is showing off the 
tricks of his monkeys and cobras to a 
crowd squatting before him in the 



shape of a half moon. He beats on a 
small drum with his fingers, or blows 
through a little pipe of reeds, till he 
has got his audience together, and 
then proceeds to make mango trees 
grow, to spit fire, or having hidden a 
boy in a basket, rams his old anti- 
quated scimitar through the wicker- 
work, to the intense delight of the 
overgrown children jabbering round 
him. Naked urchins make mud pat- 
ties in the thoroughfares ; boys try to 
float their tiny paper kites in the hot 
motionless air; girls swing little 
babies to sleep; wives fan their 
slumbering lords. The noise of tom- 
toms and cattle bells never ceases. 
All, young and old, male and female, 
chew pan as a sailor chews his quid ; 
the said pan having the reputation 
of an astringent and a great strength- 
ener of the gums, but most certainly 
discolouring the teeth very sadly. 

A dreary sing-song proclaims the 
whereabouts of the village school. 
Outside, in the elevated courtyard, 
the scholars are learning their les- 
sons, scrawling on the dust, on palm- 
leaves, or on broken pieces of slate, 
or in line repeating their tasks. The 
dominie, a Brahmin, naked to the 
waist, a little black tuft of hair bob- 
bing on his shaven crown, walks up 
and down inspecting his pupils as they 
whine out arithmetical puzzles. The 
primers are all in the vernacular, for 
English is not taught here ; and as 
female education is still an unf elt want 
in the village, women grow, live, and 
die here in Cimmerian ignorance. The 
master is paid by small gratuities of 
coarse grain, oil, or cloth. 

The village boasts of only one small 
temple. Peeping in at the dusky door 
one sees behind an iron grating a tiny 
clay god, with the head of an elephant 
and two pairs of arms. This is the 
god Ganesh. His tiara is of tinsel 
paper, and a little doll's frock of crim- 
son silk hangs over his protuberant 
belly an even more contemptible 
little image than the waxen bambino 
of poor Italian hamlets. Chaplets of 
yellow jasmine and other flowers, and 



An Indian Village. 



79 



small offerings of rice, are decaying in 
front of the shrine. Outside, a kind 
of obelisk, studded with rows of nails, 
serves to support coloured glasses, 
which are filled with cocoa-nut oil 
on holidays, and over this spread the 
branches of a mango tree, planted by 
some superstitious villager with a 
view to a comfortable berth in the 
next world. 

On the outskirts of the village tiny 
shrines of mortar and brick, in shape 
not unlike a dog's kennel, line either 
side of the way, each containing a 
rude stone, carved with the image of 
a god or goddess, and painted a bright 
red. At the lower end, numerous 
little white figures of elephants 
are ranged on an earthen platform. 
These are objects of worship to the 
rural population ; but what is not an 
object of worship to them ? Evidently 
the trees are, for several of the ban- 
yans are gay with streamers of coloured 
rag. Jungle spirits, river spirits, can- 
nibal spirits, ghosts, and goblins all 
have a place in their creed. They 
believe in witchcraft, magic, astrology, 
and the exorcism of devils from the 
bodies of possessed persons. A blight 
is brought about by the killing of 
cows, or the eating of beef ; and the 
irremediable sterility of the soil is 
still ascribed to the operations of the 
officers of the survey some three-score 
years ago ! 

The lean, slouching, ungainly village 
bullocks must be first cousins to 
Pharaoh's lean kine. Dull-eyed, feeble, 
compact only of skin and bone, brutally 
treated, they look, and surely must 
be, the very embodiment of animal 
misery. Superstition, which forbids 
their slaughter, makes no provision 
for kind treatment, and the peasantry 
maintain that it is cheaper to work 
them to death than to 'buy new bullocks 
in order to tend the old more carefully. 
Their beef is naturally quite tasteless. 
From the jungles these poor brutes 
procure just enough food to keep 
themselves alive. What a contrast 
they form to the fine lazy Brahminical 
bull with its large meek eyes, soft 



dove-coloured skin, and lusty hump on 
the back; or to the^ prize cattle now 
and again paraded at local exhibitions. 

Buffaloes are kept for milk, and for 
ploughing the marshy lands. The 
sheep are as hairy as the goats. The 
ponies are hardy, active, and vicious ; 
and as often as not ridden bare- 
backed. The community also possess a 
small breed of little donkeys animals 
which a London costermonger would 
spurn, and gifted with a dislocat- 
ing roughness of action which no lan- 
guage can describe to such as have 
never felt it. 

No railway comes near the place, 
but there is a constant stream of road- 
traffic. Bullock-cart after bullock- 
cart goes by both day and night, each 
lumbering shapeless vehicle drawn by 
two oxen, for cart horses may be said 
to have no existence in India. These 
carts are sometimes covered in with a 
sort of hood of matting, and under 
this improvised shelter reposes the 
carter's wife and his children, a little 
knot of black faces and black arms. 
For the sake of society, and by way 
of mutual protection, the carters 
travel in bands averaging from a 
dozen to twenty, halting at nightfall 
and forming a regular encampment by 
the roadside. The draught-bullocks are 
white or dun in colour, with large 
dewlaps and big humps. Sometimes 
they are made gay with rude necklaces 
and tassels of scarlet wool, and nearly 
all are decorated with brass bobs and 
bells. If they happen to be docile 
Jehu speaks to them in the most 
endearing terms ; but should they 
prove intractable he indulges in a 
flood of vituperation in which his 
native tongue is peculiarly rich. Every 
ungreased wheel seems to have its own 
peculiar squeak, and the poor beasts 
sway from side to side as they strive 
to make the hard yoke easier to their 
necks. 

The agricultural implements might 
throw light on the primitive agricul- 
ture of the Aryans. The small native 
plough is carried afield by the peasant 
on his shoulders, and he uses the trees 



80 



An Indian Village. 



to store up hay in untidy ricks. Irri- 
gation by watercourse or well is 
unknown, and the villagers depend 
solely on the rainfall for the fertility 
of their fields. The lever and bucket 
so familiar to travellers in Egypt, the 
revolving water-wheel in shape like 
the paddles of a steamboat or the 
treadmill, are never seen, nor bullocks 
lifting water in leathern skins. The 
fields, irregular and capricious in shape, 
of black or deep brown earth, are 
sown with barley, jowaree, millet, and 
ragi. The cocoa-nut trees yield oil, 
their husks make serviceable ropes, 
their leaves are used as thatch, the 
wood serves for rafters of a small 
span, and the juice yields toddy. Bulks 
or raised ridges, irregular and hard as 
iron, divide field from field, and paths 
seldom traversable by wheels lead to 
and from the village to the irreclaim- 
able jungle. The high road is the 
only metalled road in the district, and 
no where could one find a market or 
ornamental garden. Platforms raised 
in the centre of the fields are used as 
observatories, from whence cultivators 
armed with slings scare off the birds 
from the ripening grains. 

The chief village functionary is pro- 
bably the schoolmaster, who to his 
pedagogic duties adds those of priest 
and physician. After him comes the 
patel or headman, the mouthpiece and 
representative of the hereditary culti- 
vators, of the tenants at will, and of 
the tenants by occupancy. To his 
kulkarni or clerk is committed the 
drawing up of the village deeds 
documents written on execrable paper, 
commencing with the name of the 
goddess of wealth, and terminating 
with the bangle marks, or other 
pictorial attestations of the illiterate 
villagers. He keeps the rural rent roll, 
the accounts of every estate, a classi- 
fication of the different soils, and of 
the rights and interest in them of the 
peasants a record which effectually 
checks promiscuous squatting. The 
village smith, seated before his shanty, 



his primitive bellows by his side, 
hammers away at bands of iron im- 
ported with piece goods. Justice is 
administered by the village pancfiayat 
or counsel, and its decrees are enforced 
by expulsion from caste. The mar- 
warree, or native money-lender, officiates 
as the village capitalist. This worthy 
crouches on the floor of his hut like a 
beast of prey with the face of a 
hawk ; and once in his debt, lucky is 
the cultivator who can ever call him- 
self again a free man. To them he 
makes advances on grain which are 
often repaid in kind on the threshing 
floor of the village. He has his wife 
here, a buxom dame, who struts about 
in her petticoats of amber and crimson 
like a peacock the only woman in the 
village who veils her face whenever 
she goes abroad, and gifted with a 
tongue shrill enough to make itself 
heard from one end of the village to 
the other. The barber is the wag of 
the community, his wife its midwife ; 
and the schoolmaster casts horoscopes 
and tells fortunes. 

At noon the village enjoys a siesta, 
and at night during the sultry season 
the majority of the villagers sleep 
outside their huts on each side of the 
road, on the native bed, or charpoy, a 
web of netting stretched on four short 
legs. Dogs mount guard over the 
cattle, and here and there figures 
clothed in white glide noiselessly by 
like sheeted ghosts. Through the in- 
terstices of each hut glimmers a 
tiny light. The cricket chants in the 
grass, and maybe a panther, or even 
a tiger, slinks down to drink at the 
tank, and carry off, if luck favour 
him, some unfortunate cow. Jackals 
are prowling up and down for stray 
fowls, and overhead the owls and flying 
foxes hooting in the trees. Mean- 
while the rising moon is touching 
rock and valley with inexpressible 
tenderness, and the mystic voice of 
nature begins to whisper of things 
unseen. 



MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE 



DECEMBER, 1885. 



POETRY AND POLITICS. 



THE separation of literary criticism 
from politics appears to have been a 
gain both to politics and to literature. 
If Mr. Swinburne, for example, speaks 
unkindly about kings and priests in 
one volume, that offence is not re- 
membered against him, even by the 
most Conservative critic, when he 
gives us a book like 'Atalanta/ or 
' Erechtheus. 7 If Victor Hugo applauds 
the Commune, the Conservative M. 
Paul de Saint Victor freely forgives 
him. In the earlier part of the cen- 
tury, on the other hand, poems which 
had no tinge of politics were furiously 
assailed, for party reasons, by Tory 
critics, if the author was a Whig, or 
had friends in the ranks of Whiggery. 1 
Perhaps the Whiggish critics were not 
less one-sided,but their exploits (except 
a few of Jeffrey's) are forgotten. 
Either there were no Conservative 
poets to be attacked, or the Whig at- 
tack was so weak, and so unlike the 
fine fury of the Tory reviewers, that it 
has lapsed into oblivion. Assuredly 
no Tory Keats died of an article, no 
Tory Shelley revenged him in a Con- 
servative ' Adonais/ and, if Lord 
Byron struck back at his Scotch 
reviewers, Lord Byron was no Tory. 
In the happy Truce of the Muses, 
which now enables us to judge a poet 

1 Compare Maginn's brutal and silly attack 
on Shelley's ' Adonais,' recently reprinted in 
Maginn's ' Miscellanies.' Sampson Low and 
Company. 

No. 314. VOL. LIII. 



on his literary merits, Mr. Courthope 
has raised a war-cry which will not, 
I hope, be widely echoed. He has 
called his reprinted essays 'The 
Liberal Movement in English Litera- 
ture/ 2 and has thus brought back 
the howls of partisans into a region 
where they had been long silent. 
One cannot but regret this intru- 
sion of the factions which have " no 
language but a Cry" into the tran- 
quil regions of verse. Mr. Courthope 
knows that the title of his essays will 
be objected to, and he tries to de- 
fend it. Cardinal Newman, he says, 
employs the term " Liberalism " to 
denote a movement in the region of 
thought. Would it not be as true 
to say that Cardinal Newman uses 
" Liberalism " as " short " for most 
things that he dislikes ? In any case 
the word " Liberal " is one of those 
question-begging, popular, political 
terms which had been expelled from 
the criticism of poetry. It seems an 
error to bring back the word with 
its passionate associations. Mr. Court- 
hope will, perhaps, think that the 
reviewer who thus objects is himself 
a Liberal. It is not so ; and though 
I would fain escape from even the 
thought of party bickerings, I pro- 
bably agree with Mr. Courthope in 
not wishing to disestablish anything 
or anybody, not even the House of 
Lords. None the less it is distract- 
3 John Murray, London, 1885. 
G 



82 



Poetry and Politics. 



ing, when we are occupied for once 
with thoughts about poetry, to meet 
sentences like this : " Life, in the 
Radical view, is simply change ; and 
a Radical is ready to promote every 
caprice or whim of the numerical 
majority of the moment in the belief 
that the change which it effects in the 
constitution of society will bring him 
nearer to some ideal state existing in 
his own imagination." Or again : 
"How many leagues away do they" 
(certain remarks of Mr. Burke's) 
" carry us from the Liberal Radical- 
ism now crying out for the aboli- 
tion of the hereditary branch of the 
Legislature?" and so on. One ex- 
pects, in every page, to encounter the 
deceased wife's sister, or " a cow and 
three acres." It is not in the mood 
provoked by our enthusiasm for the 
hereditary branch of the Legislature, 
it is not when the heart stands up in 
defence of the game laws, that we 
are fit to reason about poetry. Con- 
sequently, as it appears to me, Mr. 
Courthope, in his excitement against 
Radicalism, does not always reason 
correctly, nor, perhaps, feel correctly, 
about poetry. 

As far as I understand the main 
thesis of Mr. Courthope's book, it is 
something like this. From a very 
early date, from the date certainly of 
Chaucer, there have been flowing two 
main streams in English literature. 
One stream is the Poetry of Romance, 
the other is the Poetry of Manners. 
The former had its source (I am in- 
clined to go a great way further back 
for its source) " in the institutions of 
chivalry, and in mediaeval theology." 
The other poetical river, again, the 
poetry of manners, " has been fed by 
the life, actions, and manners of the 
nation." One might add to this that 
the "life and actions" of our people 
have often, between the days of the 
Black Prince and of General Gordon, 
been in the highest degree " romantic." 
This mixture, however, would confuse 
ML. Courthope's system. Dray ton's 
' Agincourt,' Lord Tennyson's * Revenge' 
may be regarded at will, perhaps, as 



belonging to the poetry of romance, 
or the poetry of national action. 
Mr. Courthope does not touch on this 
fact, but the reader will do well to 
keep it in mind, for reasons which 
will appear later. 

The fortunes of the two streams 
of poetry have been different. The 
romantic stream was lost in the sands 
of Donne, Crashaw, Cowley, and the 
rest, but welled up again in the begin- 
ning of our own century, in Scott, 
Coleridge, and others. The poetry of 
manners, on the other hand, had its 
great time when men, revolting from 
the conceits of degenerate romanticism, 
took, with Pope, Dryden, Thomson, 
and Johnson, to " correctness," to 
working under the " ethical impulse." 
Now the " correctness " and the choice 
of moral topics which prevailed in the 
eighteenth century were " Conserva- 
tive, "and the new burst of romantic poe- 
try was " Liberal," and was connected 
with the general revolutionary and 
Liberal movement in politics, specu- 
lation, and religion. Finally, Mr. 
Courthope thinks that " the Liberal 
movement in our literature, as well as 
in our politics, is beginning to lan- 
guish." Perhaps Mr. Chamberlain 
and his friends are not aware that 
they are languishing. In the interests 
of our languishing poetry, at all 
events, Mr. Courthope briefly pre- 
scribes more " healthy objectivity " 
(the words are mine, and are slang, 
but they put the idea briefly), and a 
"revival of the simple iambic move- 
ments of English in metres historically 
established in our literature." 

In this sketch of Mr. Courthope's 
thesis, his main ideas show forth as, 
if not new, yet, perfectly true. There 
is, there has been, a poetry of romance 
of which the corruption is found in the 
wanton conceits of Donne and Cra- 
shaw. There is, there has been, a 
poetry of manners and morals, of 
which the corruption is didactic prosi- 
ness. In the secular action and re- 
action, each of these tendencies has, 
at various times, been weak or strong. 
At the beginning of this century, too, 



Poetry and Politics. 



a party tinge was certainly given, 
chiefly by Conservative critics, to the 
reborn romantic poetry. Keats cared 
as little as any man for what Marcus 
Aurelius calls "the drivelling of 
politicians," but even Keats, as a 
friend of " kind Hunt's," was a sort 
of Liberal. But admitting this party 
colouring, one must add that it was of 
very slight moment indeed, and very 
casually distributed. Therefore, one 
must still regret, for reasons which 
will instantly appear, Mr. Courthope's 
introduction of party names and party 
prejudices into his interesting essays. 

It is probably the author's preoccu- 
pation with politics which causes fre- 
quent contradictions, as they seem, and 
a general sense of confusion which 
often make it very hard to follow his 
argument, and to see what he is really 
driving at. For example, Scott, the 
Conservative Scott, whom Mr. Court- 
hope so justly admires, has to appear 
as a Liberal, almost a revolutionary, 
in verse. Mr. Courthope quotes Cole- 
ridge's account of the origin of 
Lyrical Ballads as " the first note 
of the ' new departure/ which I have 
called the ' Liberal Movement in 
English Literature.' " Well, but the 
Tory Scott was an eager follower of 
Coleridge's ; he played (if we are to be 
political) Mr. Jesse Collings to Cole- 
ridge's Mr. Chamberlain. This, by it- 
self, proves how very little the Liberal 
movement in literature was a party 
movement, how little it had to do with 
Liberalism in politics. 

Again, when Mr. Courthope is cen- 
suring, and most justly censuring, Mr. 
Carlyle's grudging and Pharisaical 
article on Scott, he speaks of Carlyle 
as a "Radical," and finds that "our 
Radical Diogenes " blamed Scott " be- 
cause he was a Conservative, and 
amused the people." Now Carlyle, 
of all men, was no Radical ; and Scott, 
as a Conservative, is a queer figure 
in a Liberal movement. Another odd 
fact is that the leaders of the Liberal 
movement " steeped themselves " in 
the atmosphere of feudal romance. 
Whatever else feudal romance may 



have been, it was eminently anti- 
Radical, and, to poetic Radicals, 
should have been eminently uncon- 
genial. Odder still (if the Liberal 
movement in literature was a party 
movement to any important extent) is 
Mr. Courthope's discovery that Macau- 
lay was a Conservative critic. Yet a 
Conservative critic Macaulay must 
have been, because he was in the 
camp opposed to that of Coleridge and 
Keats. Macaulay was a very strong 
party man, and, had he been aware 
that his critical tastes were Tory, he 
would perhaps have changed his tastes. 
Yet again, Mr. Courthope finds that 
optimism is the note of Liberalism, 
while " the Conservative takes a far 
less sanguine view of the prospects of 
the art of poetry," and of things in 
general. But Byron and Shelley, in 
Mr. Courthope's argument, were Libe- 
ral poets. Yet Mr. Courthope says, 
speaking of Shelley, " like Byron, he 
shows himself a complete pessimist." 
For my own part (and Mr. Court- 
hope elsewhere expresses the same 
opinion), Shelley seems to me 
an optimist, in his queer political 
dreams of a future where Prometheus 
and Asia shall twine beams and buds 
in a cave, unvexed by priests and 
kings a future in which all men shall 
be peaceful, brotherly, affectionate 
sentimentalists. But Mr. Courthope 
must decide whether Byron and Shelley 
are to be Conservatives and pessimists, 
or Liberals and optimists. At present 
their position as Liberal pessimists 
seems, on his own showing, difficult 
and precarious. Macaulay, too, the 
Liberal Macaulay, is a pessimist, ac- 
cording to Mr. Courthope. All this 
confusion, as I venture to think it, 
appears to arise, then, from Mr. Court- 
hope's political preoccupations. He 
shows us a Radical Carlyle, a Conser- 
vative Macaulay ; a Scott who is, per- 
haps, a kind of Whig ; a Byron, who, 
being pessimistic, should be Conserva- 
tive, but is Liberal ; a Shelley, who is 
Liberal, though, being pessimistic, he 
ought to be Conservative. It is all 
very perplexing, and, like most mis- 

G 2 



84 



Poetry and Politics. 



chief, all comes out of party politics. 
It is less easy to demonstrate, what 
I cannot help suspecting, that Mr. 
Courthope's great admiration of the 
typical poetry of the eighteenth cen- 
tury comes from his persuasion that 
that poetry, like Providence, " is Tory." 
This may seem an audacious guess. I 
am led to make it partly by observing 
that Mr. Courthope's own poems, espe- 
cially the charming lyrics in * The Para- 
dise of Birds/ have a freedom and a 
varied music, extremely Liberal, ex- 
tremely unlike Johnson and Thom- 
son, and not all dissimilar to what we 
admire in the Red Republican verse 
of Mr. Swinburne. Now, if Mr. 
Courthope writes verse like that (and 
I wish he would write more), surely his 
inmost self must, on the whole, tend 
rather to the poetry he calls Liberal, 
than to that which (being a politician) 
he admires as Conservative, but does 
not imitate. All this, however, is an 
attempt to plumb " the abysmal depths 
of personality." We are on firmer 
ground when we try to show that Mr. 
Courthope expresses too high an 
opinion of the typical poetry of the 
eighteenth century. Now this really 
brings us face to face with the great 
question, Was Pope a poet ? and that, 
again, leads us to the brink of a dis- 
cussion as to What is poetry? On 
these matters no one will ever per- 
suade his neighbours by argument. 
We all follow our tastes, incapable of 
conversion. I must admit that I am, 
on this point, a Romanticist of the 
most "dishevelled" character; that 
Pope's verse does not affect me as 
what I call poetry affects me ; that 
I only style Pope, in Mr. Swinburne's 
words, " a poet with a difference." 
This is one of the remarks which in- 
spire Mr. Courthope to do battle for 
Pope, and for Thomson, and Johnson, 
and the rest. Mr. Matthew Arnold, 
too, vexes Mr. Courthope by calling 
Pope and Dry den " classics of our 
prose." Why are they not poets? he 
asks \ and " Who is a poet if not 
Pope?" Who? Why from Homer 
onwards there are many poets : there 



are " many mansions," but if Pope 
dwells in one of them I think it is 
by courtesy, and because there are 
a few diamonds of poetry in the fine 
gold of his verse. But it is time to 
say why one would (in spite of the 
very highest of all living authori- 
ties) incline to qualify the title of 
" poet " as given to Pope. It is for a 
reason which Mr. Courthope finds it 
hard to understand. He says that 
Mr. Matthew Arnold and Mr. Swin- 
burne deny Pope the laurel without 
assigning reasons. They merely cry, 
in a despotic fashion, stet pro rations 
voluntas. They do not offer argu- 
ment, or, if they argue, their ar- 
guments will not " hold water." 
But Mr. Courthope himself justifies 
the lack of argument by his own reply 
to certain reasonings of Words- 
worth's. " Your reasoning, no doubt," 
says Mr. Courthope to the Bard of 
Rydal, "is very fine and ingenious, 
but the matter is one not for argu- 
ment, but for perception." 

Precisely : and so Mr. Arnold and 
Mr. Swinburne might answer Mr. 
Courthope's complaints of their lack 
of argument, " The matter is one not 
for argument, but for perception." 
One feels, or perceives, in reading 
Pope, the lack of what one cannot 
well argue about, the lack of the in- 
definable glory of poetry, the bloom 
on it, as happiness is, according to 
Aristotle, the bloom on a life of good- 
ness. Mr. Swinburne, avoiding 
"argument," writes, "the test of the 
highest poetry is that it eludes all tests. 
Poetry in which there is no element at 
once perceptible and indefinable by 
any reader or hearer of any poetic 
instinct may have every other good 
quality . . . but if all its properties 
can easily or can ever be gauged and 
named by its admirers, it is not poetry, 
above all it is not lyric poetry, of the 
first water." In fact, to employ the 
terms of Mr. Courthope's own reply to 
Wordsworth, " the matter is one not 
for argument, but for perception." 
Now this "perceptible and indefin- 
able" element in poetry, is rarely 



Poetry and Politics. 



85 



present in Pope's verse, if it is ever 
present at all. We can " gauge and 
name " the properties of Pope's verse, 
and little or nothing is left unnamed 
and ungauged. For this reason Pope 
always appears to me, if a poet at all, 
a poet " with a difference." The test, 
of course, is subjective, even mystical, 
if you will. Mr. Courthope might 
answer that Pope is full of passages 
in which he detects an indefinable 
quality that can never be gauged or 
named. In that case I should be 
silenced, but Mr. Courthope does not 
say anything of the sort. Far from 
that, he says (and here he does as- 
tonish me) that " the-most sublime pas- 
sages of Homer, Milton, and Yirgil, 
can readily be analysed into their 
elements." Why, if it were so, they 
would indeed be on the level of Pope. 
But surely it is not so. We can parse 
Homer, Milton, and Yirgil ; we can 
make a precis of what they state ; but 
who can analyse their incommunicable 
charm ? If any man thinks he can 
analyse it, to that man, I am inclined 
to cry, the charm must be definable 
indeed, but also imperceptible. Take 
Homer's words, so simply uttered, 
when Helen has said that her brothers 
shun the war, for her shame's sake 

Qs <j)aro' TOVS ft ^77 Kare^ei/ (/>ucri'boy ata, 
'Ej/ Aa/Ke&ai'/zoi/i au$t, (piXr; Iv Trarpidiyair).- 

Who can analyse the subtle melan- 
choly of the lines, the incommunicable 
charm and sweetness, full of all 
thoughts of death, and life, and the 
dearness of our native land ? 

In Yirgil and Milton it is even 
easier to find examples of this price- 
less quality, lines like 



" Fluminaque antiques subterlabentia 
muros," 2 



or 



"Te, Lari maxime, teque 
Fluctibus et fremitu assurgens, Benace, 
Tnarinn 1 " 3 



"So spake she, but them already the 
mother earth possessed, there in Lacedsemon, 
their own dear native land. " 

" And rivers gliding under ancient walls. " 

"Thee, mightiest Laris, and thee Bena- 

cus, rising with waves and surge as of the sea." 



Mr. Courthope himself quotes lines 
of Milton's that sufficiently illustrate 
my -meaning 

" And ladies of the Hesperides that seemed 
Fairer than feigned of old or fabled since 
Of faery damsels met in forest wide 
By Knight of Logris or of Lyones, 
Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore." 

There is something in the very pro- 
cession and rhythmical fitness of the 
words, there is a certain bloom and 
charm, which defies analysis. This 
bloom is of the essence of poetry, and 
it is not characteristic of the typical 
verse of Mr. Courthope' s Conservative 
eighteenth century. He enters into 
argument with Mr. Swinburne, who 
quotes, as an example of the inde- 
finable quality 

" Will no one tell me what she sings ? 

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow 
For old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago." 

Mr. Swinburne says that "if not 
another word was left of the poem 
in which those two last lines occur, 
those two lines would suffice to show 
the hand of a poet differing, not in 
degree, but in kind, from the tribe 
of Byron or of Southey " the Con- 
servative singer of Wat Tyler. As to 
Byron I do not speak ; but certainly 
the two lines, like two lines of 
Sappho's, if they alone survived, 
would give assurance of a poet of 
the true gift, of the unimpeachable 
inspiration. Such a line as 



'Hpos ayyeXos Ififpofjywvos dr)da>v } * 
cos de Trals TreSa juarepa 



or 



is not a more infallible proof of the 
existence of a true poet. 

Mr. Courthope does not see this in 
the case of Wordsworth. He says 
the beauty of the fragment depends 
on the context. I quote his remark, 
which proves how vain it is to argue 
about poetry, how truly it is "a 

4 "The dear glad angel of spring, the 
Nightingale." BEN JONSON. 

5 "Even as a child to its mother I flutter 
to thee. " Both these passages are fragments 
of Sappho. 



86 



Poetry and Politics. 



matter of perception." Mr. Court- 
hope says, "The high quality of the 
verses depends upon their associations 
with the image of the solitary High- 
land reaper singing unconsciously her 
'melancholy strain' in the midst of 
the autumn sheaves; detached from 
this image the lines would scarcely 
have been more affecting than our 
old friend, 'Barbara, celarent, &c.' " 
By an odd coincidence, and personal 
experience, I can disprove (in my own 
case) this dictum of Mr. Courthope's. 
When I was a freshman, with a great 
aversion to Wordsworth, and an almost 
exhaustive ignorance of his poetry, I 
chanced to ask a friend to suggest a 
piece of verse for Latin elegiacs. He 
answered, "Why don't you try 

* Will no one tell me what she sings ? 

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow 
For old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago.' " 

I did not attempt to convert the lines 
into blundering elegiacs. I did not 
even ask for the context, but the 
beauty and enchantment of the sounds 
remained with me, singing to me, as 
it were, in lonely places beside the 
streams and below the hills. This is, 
perhaps, evidence that, for some hear- 
ers, the high quality of Wordsworth's 
touch, " when Nature took the pen 
from him," does not depend on the 
context, though from the context 
even that verse gains new charms. 
For what is all Celtic poetry but a 
memory 

" Of old, unhappy, far-off things, 
And battles long ago " ? 

In the long run, perhaps, as Mr. 
Courthope says, Mr. Swinburne " only 
proves by his argument that the 
poetry of Byron is of a different 
kind from the poetry of Wordsworth 
and Shelley, and that he himself 
infinitely prefers the poetry of the 
two latter." Unluckily argument 
can prove no more than that the 
poetry which we "infinitely prefer" 
is of a different kind from the poetry 
of Pope and Johnson, and even from 
most of Thomson's. One cannot de- 



monstrate that it is not only of a 
different kind but of an infinitely 
higher kind. That is matter for per- 
ception. But this one may say, and 
it may even appear of the nature of 
an argument, that the poetry of " a dif- 
ferent kind," which I agree with so 
much more competent a judge as Mr. 
Swinburne in preferring, is not pecu- 
liar to any one people, or time, or 
movement. It is quod semper, quod 
ubique, quod ab omnibus. I find this 
flower on the long wild, frozen plains 
and steppes, the tundras, of the Finnish 
epic, the ' Kalevala ' : " The cold has 
spoken to me, and the rain has told 
me her runes ; the winds of heaven, 
the waves of the sea, have spoken and 
sung to me, the wild birds have 
taught me, the music of many waters 
has been my master." So says the 
Runoia, and he speaks truly, but wind 
and rain, and fen and forest, cloud 
and sky and sea, never taught their 
lesson to the typical versifiers of the 
Conservative eighteenth century. I 
find their voices, and their enchant- 
ment, and their passion in Homer and 
Yirgil, in Theocritus, and Sophocles, 
and Aristophanes, in the volkslieder 
of modern Greece, as in the ballads of 
the Scottish border, in Shakespeare 
and Marlowe, in Ronsard and Joachim 
du Bellay, in Cowper and Gray, as in 
Shelley and Scott and Coleridge, in 
Edgar Poe, in Heine, and in the Edda. 
Where I do not find this natural 
magic, and "element at once per- 
ceptible and indefinable," is in the 
' Rape of the Lock,' ' The Essay on Man,' 
' Eloisa to Abelard,' The Campaign,'- 
is in the typical verse of the classical 
and Conservative eighteenth century. 
Now, if I am right in what, after all, 
is a matter of perception, if all great 
poetry of all time has this one mark, 
this one element, and is of this one 
kind, while only the typical poetry of 
a certain three generations lacks the 
element, and is of another kind, can 
I be wrong in preferring quod semper, 
quod ubique, quod ab omnibus ? 

The late Rector of Lincoln College 
(a Liberal, to be sure, alas !) has defined 



Poetry and Politics. 



87 



that which we consciously miss in 
Pope and Johnson as " the element of 
inspired feeling." Perhaps we can- 
not define it, and perhaps it is going 
too far to say, with the Rector, that 
" it is by courtesy that the versifiers 
of the century from Dryden to 
Churchill are styled poets." Let us 
call them " poets with a difference," 
for even Mr. Courthope will probably 
admit (what he says Mr. Swinburne 
has "proved " about Byron) that they 
are poets " of a different kind." Then 
let us prefer which kind we please, 
and be at rest. We, who prefer the 
kind that Homer began, and that 
Lord Tennyson continues, might add, 
as a reason for our choice, that our 
side is strong in the knowledge 
and rendering of Nature. Words- 
worth, in a letter to Scott, 1 remarked 
that Dryden' s was " not a poeti- 
cal genius," although he possessed 
(what Chapelain, according to Theo- 
phile Gautier, especially lacked), " a 
certain ardour and impetuosity of 
mind, with an excellent ear." But, said 
Wordsworth. " there is not a single 
image from nature in the whole body 
of his works," and, " in his translation 
from Yirgil, wherever Yirgil can be 
fairly said to have had his eye upon 
his object, Dryden always spoils the 
passage." So, it is generally confessed, 
does Pope spoil Homer, Homer who 
always has his eye on the object. I 
doubt if Chapman, when he says 

" And with the tops lie bottoms all the deeps, 
And all the bottoms in the tops lie steeps," 

gives the spirit of a storm of Homer's 
worse than Pope does, when he 
remarks 

" The waves behind roll on the waves before." 

Or where does Homer say that the 
stars 

" O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, 
And tip with silver every mountain head ? " 



says Homer, and it is enough. The 
" yellower verdure," and the silver, 

1 Lockhart's ' Memoirs of the Life of Sir 
Walter Scott,' ii. 89. 
2 " And all the stars show plain." 



and the rest of this precious stuff come 
from Pope, that minute observer of 
external nature. Mr. Courthope num- 
bers Dryden, with Shakespeare, 
Chaucer, and Scott, among poets with 
" the power of reproducing the idea 
of external nature." It may be my 
unconscious Liberalism, but I prefer 
the view of that eminent Radical, 
William Wordsworth. Mr. Courthope 
elsewhere asserts that the writers of 
the best poetry of the eighteenth 
century (meaning Pope, I presume, 
and the rest), " faced nature boldly, 
and wrote about it in metre directly 
as they felt it." Probably, by 
" nature," Mr. Courthope means 
"human nature," for I cannot believe 
that Pope, boldly facing Nature on a 
starlit night, really saw a " yellower 
verdure " produced by " that obscure 
light which droppeth from the stars." 
Before leaving the question of the 
value of typical eighteenth century 
poetry, one would recall Mr. Court- 
hope's distinctions between the poetry 
of manners and national action, and the 
poetry of romance. I said that there 
was much romance in our national 
actions. Now, outside the sacred 
grove of Conservative and classical 
poetry, that romance of national 
action has been felt, has been fittingly 
sung. From the Fight of Brunan- 
burh, to Dray ton's ' Agincourt,' from 
Agincourt to Lord Tennyson's ' Re- 
venge,' and Sir Francis Doyle's ' Red 
Thread of Honour,' we have certain 
worthy and romantic lyrics of national 
action. The Cavalier poets gave us 
many songs of England under arms, 
even Macaulay's ' Armada ' stirs us like 
' Chevy Chase,' or ' Kinmont Willie.' 
The Conservative and classical age of 
our poetry was an age of great actions. 
What, then, did the Conservative 
poets add to the lyrics of the romance 
of national action? Where is their 
* Battle of the Baltic/or their 'Mariners 
of England ' ? Why, till we come to 
Cowper (an early member of " the 
Liberal movement,") to Cowper and the 
' Loss of the Royal George,' I declare 
I know not where to find a poet who 



88 



Poetry and Politics. 



has discovered in national action any 
romance or any inspiration at all ! 
What do we get, in place of the 
romance of national adventure, in 
place of ' Lucknow' and ' The Charge of 
the Light Brigade/ from the classical 
period T Why, we get, at most, and 
at best, 

" Though fens and floods possessed the middle 

space 
That unprovoked they would have feared to 

pass, 
Nor fens nor floods can stop Britannia's 

bands, 
When her proud foe ranged on their border 

stands." * 

I recommend the historical and topo- 
graphical accuracy of the second line, 
and the musical correctness of the 
fourth. Not thus did Scott sing how 

" The stubborn spearsmen still made good 
Their dark impenetrable wood," 

and I doubt if Achilles found any 
such numbers, when Patroclus entered 
his tent, aeiSe S'apa K/Vea oh/Span/. 2 The 
Conservative age, somehow, was less 
patriotic than the poets of *' the 
Liberal movement." 

Space fails me, and I cannot join 
battle with Mr. Courthope as to the 
effect of science on poetry, and as to 
the poetry of savage times and peoples, 
though I am longing to criticise the 
verses of Dieyries and Narrinyeries, 
and the karakias of the Maoris, and 
the great Maori epic, so wonderfully 
Homeric, and the songs of the 
Ojibbeways and Malagasies. When 
Macaulay said, "as civilisation ad- 
vances, poetry almost necessarily de- 
clines," I doubt if much Dieyri or 
Narrinyeri verse was present to his 
consciousness. But this belongs to a 
separate discussion. 

I have tried to show that, by intro- 

1 Of course there are better things than this 
in the 'Campaign' of the inspired Mr. Addison. 

2 " And he was singing of the glorious deeds 

of men." 



ducing political terms into poetical 
criticism, and by having his eye on 
politics when discoursing of poetry, 
Mr. Courthope has not made obscure 
matters clearer, and has, perhaps, 
been betrayed into a strained affec- 
tion for the Conservative and classical 
school. His definition of what gives 
a poet his rank, "his capacity for 
producing lasting pleasure by the 
metrical expression of thought, of 
whatever kind it may be," certainly 
admits Pope and some of his fol- 
lowers. But, as a mere matter of 
perception, I must continue to think 
them " poets with a difference," dif- 
ferent from Homer, Sappho, Theocritus, 
Virgil, Shelley, 'Keats, Coleridge, and 
Heine. This is the conclusion of a 
romanticist, who maintains that the 
best things in Racine, the best things 
in Aristophanes, the best things in 
the Book of Job, are romantic. But I 
willingly acknowledge that the classi- 
cal movement, the Conservative move- 
ment, the movement which Waller 
began and Pope completed, was in- 
evitable, necessary, salutary. 

I am not ungrateful to Pope and 
Waller ; but they hold of Apollo in 
his quality of leech, rather than of 
minstrel, and they " rather seem his 
healing son," Asclepius, than they 
resemble the God of the Silver Bow. 
As to the future of our poetry, whether 
poets should return to "the simple 
iambic movements " or not, who can 
predict ? It all depends on the poets, 
probably unborn, who are to succeed 
Mr. Matthew Arnold and Lord Tenny- 
son. But I hope that, if our innumer- 
able lyric measures .are to be deserted, 
it may be after my time. I see 
nothing opposed to a moderate Conser- 
vatism in anapaests, but I fear Mr. 
Courthope suspects the lyric Muse 
herself of a dangerous Radicalism. 

ANDREW LANG. 



89 



ON LOVE'S LABOUES LOST. 



LOVE'S LABOURS LOST is one of the 
earliest of Shakspere's dramas, and 
has many of the peculiarities of his 
poems, which are also the work of his 
earlier life. The opening speech of 
the King on the immortality of fame 
on the triumph of fame over death 
and the nobler parts of Biron, have 
something of the monumental style 
of Shakspere's Sonnets, and are not 
without their conceits of thought 
and expression. This connection of 
the play with his poems is further 
enforced by the insertion in it of three 
sonnets and a faultless song ; which, 
in accordance with Shakspere's prac- 
tice in other plays, are inwoven into 
the action of the piece and, like the 
golden ornaments of a fair woman, give 
it a peculiar air of distinction. There 
is merriment in it also, with choice 
illustrations of both wit and humour ; 
a laughter often exquisite, ringing, 
if faintly, yet as genuine laughter 
still, though sometimes sinking into 
mere burlesque, which has not lasted 
quite so well. And Shakspere brings 
a serious effect out of the trifling of 
his characters. A dainty love-making 
is interchanged with the more cumbrous 
play ; below the many artifices of 
Biron's amorous speeches we may 
trace sometimes the " unutterable 
longing ; " and the lines in which 
Katherine describes the blighting 
through love of her younger sister are 
one of the most touching things in older 
'literature. 1 Again, how many echoes 
seem awakened by those strange words, 
actually said in jest! "The sweet 
war-man (Hector of Troy) is dead and 
rotten ; sweet chucks, beat not the 
bones of the buried : when he breathed, 
he was a man " words which may 
remind us of Shakspere's own epitaph. 
In the last scene, an ingenious turn is 
given to the action, so that the piece 
1 Act v., scene ii. 



does not conclude after the manner 
of other comedies 

" Our wooing doth not end like an old play ; 
Jack hath not Jill : " 

and Shakspere strikes a passionate 
note across it at last, in the entrance 
of the messenger, who announces to 
the Princess that the King her father 
is suddenly dead. 

The merely dramatic interest of the 
piece is slight enough only just suf- 
ficient, indeed, to be the vehicle of its 
wit and poetry. The scene a park 
of the King of Navarre is unaltered 
throughout ; and the unity of the play 
is not so much the unity of a drama 
as that of a series of pictorial groups, 
in which the same figures reappear, in 
different combinations, but on the 
same background. It is as if Shak- 
spere had intended to bind together, 
by some inventive conceit, the devices 
of an ancient tapestry, and give voices 
to its figures. On one side, a fair 
palace ; on the other, the tents of the 
Princess of France, who has come on 
an embassy from her father to the 
King of Navarre ; in the midst, a 
wide space of smooth grass. The same 
personages are combined over and 
over again into a series of gallant 
scenes the Princess, the three masked 
ladies, the quaint, pedantic King one 
of those amiable kings men have never 
loved enough, whose serious occupa- 
tion with the things of the mind seems, 
by contrast with the more usual forms 
of kingship, like frivolity or play. 
Some of the figures are grotesque 
merely, and, all the male ones at least, 
a little fantastic. Certain objects re- 
appearing from scene to scene love- 
letters crammed with verses to the 
margin, and lovers' toys hint ob- 
scurely at some story of intrigue. 
Between these groups, on a smaller 
scale, come the slighter and more 



90 



On Love's Labours Lost. 



homely episodes, with Sir Nathaniel 
the curate, the country-maid Jaque- 
netta, Moth or Mote the elfin-page, 
with Hiems and Ver, who recite " the 
dialogue that the two learned men 
have compiled in praise of the owl 
and the cuckoo." The ladies are 
lodged in tents, because the King, 
like the princess of the modern poet's 
fancy, has taken a vow 

"To make his court a little Academe," 

and for three years' space no woman 
may come within a mile of it ; and the 
play shows how this artificial attempt 
was broken through. For the King and 
his three fellow-scholars are of course 
soon forsworn, and turn to writing 
sonnets, each to his chosen lady. 
These fellow- scholars of the King 
"quaint votaries of science." at first, 
afterwards, " affection's men-at-arms " 
three youthful knights, gallant, 
amorous, chivalrous, but also a little 
affected, sporting always a curious 
foppery of language are throughout 
the leading figures in the foreground ; 
one of them, in particular, being more 
carefully depicted than the others, and 
in himself very noticeable a portrait 
with somewhat puzzling manner and 
expression, which at once catches the 
eye irresistibly and keeps it fixed. 

Play is often that about which 
people are most serious ; and the 
humorist may observe how, under 
all love of playthings, there is almost 
always hidden an appreciation of some- 
thing really engaging and delightful. 
This is true always of the toys of 
children ; it is often true of the play- 
things of grown-up people, their vani- 
ties, their fopperies even the cynic 
would add their pursuit of fame and 
their lighter loves. Certainly, this is 
true without exception of the play- 
things of a past age, which to those 
who succeed it are always full of 
pensive interest old manners, old 
dresses, old houses. For what is 
called fashion in these matters occu- 
pies, in each age, much of the care of 
many of the most discerning people, 
furnishing them with a kind of mirror 



of their real inward refinements, and 
their capacity for selection. Such 
modes or fashions are, at their best, 
an example of the artistic predomin- 
ance of form over matter; of the 
manner of the doing of it over the 
thing done ; and have a beauty of 
their own. It is so with that old 
euphuism of the Elizabethan age 
that pride of dainty language and 
curious expression, which it is very 
easy to ridicule, which often made 
itself ridiculous, but which had below 
it a real sense of fitness and nicety ; 
and which, as we see in this very play, 
and still more clearly in the Sonnets, 
had some fascination for the young 
Shakspere himself. It is this foppery 
of delicate language, this fashionable 
plaything of his time, with which Shak- 
spere is occupied in ' Love's Labours 
Lost.' He shows us the manner in all 
its stages ; passing from the grotesque 
and vulgar pedantry of Holofernes, 
through the extravagant but polished 
caricature of Armado, to become the 
peculiar characteristic of a real though 
still quaint poetry in Biron himself 
still chargeable, even at his best, with 
just a little affectation. As Shak- 
spere laughs broadly at it in Holo- 
fernes or Armado, he is the analyst of 
its curious charm in Biron ; and this 
analysis involves a delicate raillery 
by Shakspere himself at his own 
chosen manner. 

This " foppery " of Shakspere's day 
had, then, its really delightful side, a 
quality in no sense " affected," by 
which it satisfies a real instinct in our 
minds the fancy so many of us have 
for an exquisite and curious skill in 
the use of words. Biron is the per- 
fect flower of this manner 

"A man of fire-new words, fashion's own 
knight " 

as he describes Armado, in terms 
which are really applicable to him- 
self. In him this manner blends with 
a true gallantry of nature, and an 
affectionate complaisance and grace. 
He has at times some of its extra- 
vagance or caricature also, but the 
shades of expression by which he 



On Love's Labours Lost. 



91 



passes from this to the "golden 
cadence" of Shakspere' s own chosen 
verse, are so fine, that it is sometimes 
difficult to trace them. What is a 
vulgarity in Holofernes, and a carica- 
ture in Armado, refines itself in him 
into the expression of a nature truly 
and inwardly bent upon a form of deli- 
cate perfection, and is accompanied by 
a real insight into the laws which deter- 
mine what is exquisite in language, 
and their root in the nature of things. 
He can appreciate quite the opposite 
style 

" In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes ; " 
he knows the first law of pathos, 
that 

" Honest plain words best suit the ear of 
grief." 

He delights in his own rapidity of 
intuition; and, in harmony with the 
half-sensuous philosophy of the Son- 
nets, exalts, a little scornfully, in 
many memorable expressions, the 
judgment of the senses, above all 
slower, more toilsome means of know- 
ledge, scorning some who fail to see 
things only because they are so clear 

" So ere you find where light in darkness lies, 
Your light grows dark by losing of your 
eyes " 

as with some German commentators 
on Shakspere. Appealing always to 
actual sensation from men's affected 
theories, he might seem to despise 
learning ; as, indeed, he has taken up 
his deep studies partly in play, and 
demands always the profit of learning 
in renewed enjoyment; yet he sur- 
prises us from time to time by intui- 
tions which can come only from a 
deep experience and power of obser- 
vation; and men listen to him, old 
and young, in spite of themselves. 
He is quickly impressible to the 
slightest clouding of the spirits in 
social intercourse, and has his mo- 
ments of extreme seriousness ; his 
trial-task may well be, as Rosaline 
puts it 

" To enforce the pained impotent to smile." 
But still, through all, he is true to his 
chosen manner; that gloss of dainty 



language is a second nature with him ; 
even at his best he is not without a 
certain artifice ; the trick of playing 
on words never deserts him ; and Shak- 
spere, in whose own genius there is an 
element of this very quality, shows 
us in this graceful, and, as it seems, 
studied, portrait, his enjoyment of it. 
As happens with every true drama- 
tist, Shakspere is for the most part 
hidden behind the persons of his crea- 
tion. Yet there are certain of his 
characters in which we feel that there 
is something of self-portraiture. And 
it is not so much in his grander, 
more subtle and ingenious creations 
that we feel this in Hamlet and 
King Lear as in those slighter and 
more spontaneously developed figures, 
who, while far from playing principal 
parts, are yet distinguished by a cer- 
tain peculiar happiness and delicate 
ease in the drawing of them figures 
which possess, above all, that winning 
attractiveness which there is no man 
but would willingly exercise, and 
which resemble those works of art 
which, though not meant to be very 
great or imposing, are yet wrought of 
the choicest material. Mercutio, in 
'Romeo and Juliet,' belongs to this 
group of Shakspere's characters ver- 
satile, mercurial people, such as make 
good actors, and in whom the 

"Nimble spirits of the arteries," 

the finer but still merely animal 
elements of great wit, predominate. 
A careful delineation of little, charac- 
teristic traits seems to mark them 
out as the characters of his predilec- 
tion ; and it is hard not to identify 
him with these more than with others. 
Biron, in 'Love's Labours Lost,' is 
perhaps the most striking member 
of this group. In this character, 
which is never quite in touch with, 
never quite on a perfect level of under- 
standing with the other persons of the 
play, we see, perhaps, a reflex of Shak 
spere himself, when he has just be- 
come able to stand aside from and 
estimate the first period of his poetry. 

WALTER PATER. 



92 



IRISH SHOOTINGS. 



IN the month of November, 1883, I 
was on a visit to a relative who lived 
in a remote district in the south-west 
of Ireland; and as my host was an 
invalid and his two sons were at 
school I was thrown pretty much on 
my own resources for amusement. 

One morning I started after break- 
fast with a couple of dogs to explore 
a distant coom, or mountain valley, 
where I was promised the chance of 
five or six brace of woodcock, and the 
certainty of a fine view of the sur- 
rounding hills and distant sea. 

The morning was dark and lower- 
ing, but the barometer stood high, and 
there did not seem to be any danger 
of rain. I found the coom more 
distant than I had expected, and 
also lost a good deal of time in 
looking for snipe in a promising bog 
which lay a little off my road. The 
birds were wild, and the bogs so 
full of water after recent rains that 
I could not get near them ; as a 
countryman whom I met informed me, 
" Ye won't get widin the screech of a 
jackass of them, for ye makes as much 
nize as a steamer paddlin' through all 
that wather;" so I abandoned the 
chase after securing three or four 
couple. The man was friendly, and 
seemed inclined for a talk. 

" Where are ye goin' now, yer 
honour ? if I might make so bould," 
he asked as I turned away. 

"I'm going up to Coomeana," I 
replied. 

"Why thin? What to do there, 
yer honour, might I ax, if it's plazin' 
to ye?" 

" To look for a cock. Are there 
any about ? " 

"Cocks is it, why wouldn't they? 
Begor, it do be crawlin' wid them 
sometimes. Ye wouldn't have the 
laste taste of tibbacky about ye, yer 



honour ? I hadn't a shough (pull) of 
the pipe wid three days, and I'm just 
starved for the want of it." 

"All right," said I. "Here you 
are," and I pulled out my tobacco 
pouch and gave him a couple of 
ounces of cavendish. He bit it with 
the air of a connoisseur, and his not . 
very attractive countenance bright- 
ened. 

" Oh, glory ! " said he, " why thin 
long life to you ! " and he " let," as he 
would have expressed it, "a lep out 
himself," and sitting down on a stone, 
proceeded to charge an almost stem- 
less dkudheen without loss of time. 
I wished him good morning, whistled 
to the dogs and went my way. 

Presently I heard the steps of one 
running behind me, and turning back 
was aware of my friend pursuing. 
When he overtook me, he civilly 
removed his pipe, which was now all 
aglow, and after eying it lovingly, 
said, 

" Whisper, yer honour. Ye'll be 
the sthrange gintleman that's stoppin' 
wid Misther Bourke over yondher ? " 
"Yes," I replied. " What of that ? " 
" Oh, nothin' at all, sir. I thought 
so meself. The byes (boys) were 
tellin' me that ye was the civil gintle- 
man to the poor people, and that ye 
has great nature, and so 1 finds ye, 
be Job. And " after a pause, " ye're 
goin' up Coomeana afther the cocks? 
Well, good sport to yer honour 
another pause. " Don't ye be out too 
late. Them mountains is lonesome 
about nightfall," he added musingly. 

" Oh, I'm not afraid of the fairies," 
I replied. 

"Whisht, sir," said he, this time 
with real concern. " 'Tisn't looky 
(lucky) to be talkin' of the good 
people," touching his hat, "out in 
these bogs. 'Tisn't thim I manes at 



Irish Shootings. 



93 



all, only ye know," said he insinuat- 
ingly, -"the little mountain paths is 
crass (cross, difficult) to a sth ranger, 
and ye might lose yer way or fall into 
a bog-hole. That's a purty gun ye 
has," said he admiringly ; " does she 
scatter well now ? " 

" No, I should hope not," said I. 

" Och, that's a pity," he replied ; 
for an Irish peasant not being gene- 
rally a good shot, except at landlords, 
policemen and such big game, his 
ideal of a shot-gun is a weapon which 
will scatter well, and give him most 
chances. 

" Well, good evenin' to yer honour, 
and good look anyways," and as I was 
turning away he added carelessly, 
" don't ye be out too late." 

1 thought his manner strange, but 
did not attach any significance to his 
warning. Mr. Bourke was on fair 
terms with his tenants, and though the 
times were troublous he had never even 
received a threatening letter ; besides 
I was known to be a stranger, with 
no stake in the country, and was also, 
as my friend said, a favourite with the 
boys. 

It was a weary way up the moun- 
tain side and the afternoon was well 
advanced before I reached my desti- 
nation. The view down the mountain 
gorge was very fine, and under a fair 
sky, with the hill sides in alternate light 
and shadow, must have been magnifi- 
cent. But as I saw it then, range after 
range stretched away in gloomy loneli- 
ness to the ocean, which lay dull and 
leaden some miles away, with a hooker 
or coasting craft, dark and solitary, 
lying becalmed or at anchor close in 
shore. I did not, however, waste time 
in studying the view, for I soon came 
upon the birds, though this was cer- 
tainly not one of the days quoted by 
my friend below, when the place was 
" crawlin' with them." They lay close 
too ; and as Irish dogs are generally 
better at snipe than cock, and there 
was no wind, they often got up behind 
me, making me lose much time in 
following them ; so that the evening 
was closing in before I had shot more 



than four couple, and as my host had 
told me not to show my face with less 
than six, I determined to bestir myself, 
and calling the dogs I started for a 
little valley about half a mile away 
into which I had marked several 
birds, and which I had been told 
before starting was the surest find on 
the mountain. 

This valley was not more than half 
a mile away as the crow flies ; but then 
I am not a crow, and I had to go up 
one little hill and down another, and 
to make a long circuit round a shaking 
bog, so that by the time I had got to 
my hunting ground, and had shot one 
bird, the night was coming on apace ; 
and to make matters worse, a mist 
came sweeping up from the sea, which 
grew thicker every instant, so that 
when I at last made up my mind to 
turn my face homewards, I was at a 
loss which way to turn it. 

The hill-tops were by this time 
hidden in mist, so that in the fading 
light I could make out no landmarks. 
I knew that the wind had sprung 
up from seaward, but it was very 
light, and seemed shifty and uncer- 
tain. I hit at last upon a path, which 
seemed like that by which I had 
come up ; but after following it for 
more than a mile, it led me to a 
brawling stream, which I had not met 
before, and I began to suspect that 
I had been following it away from 
home instead of homewards. 

I then tried back for a mile and a 
half or more, by which time it was 
nearly dark, and then I lost the path 
altogether. I took a pull at my flask, 
and ate the remains of a piece of oat- 
cake which I had brought with me in 
the morning. I called the dogs and 
spoke to them, and encouraged them 
to make a show of their wonderful 
instinct and lead me home ; but they 
only sat on their tails, and whimpered 
and shivered, looking at me sadly, as 
though to ask why I had got them into 
such a mess. 

I shouted and shouted, but no an- 
swer came back upon the wind. I 
was tired and wet and wretched ; so I 



Irish Shootings. 



lit my pipe, which gave me some little 
comfort, and made up my mind to 
walk on till I came somewhere, or till 
I found a convenient heap of stones, 
which would give me some shelter 
from the wind and now thickly falling 
rain, till morning. 

The moon would not rise for some 
hours, so there was no use in waiting 
for her. I therefore plodded on slowly, 
taking comfort from the thought that 
things could not be worse, as I 
brought to mind the great poet's 
words, " the worst is not, as long as 
we can say, This is the worst." But 
soon I found my mistake ; for after 
walking about another mile I put 
my foot into a hole and fell and 
wrenched my ankle, so that walking, 
which was before ;only tiring, now be- 
came painful, and having come to a 
good high cairn of those great ice- 
borne boulders so common in the 
south and west, I crept into a hollow 
between two of them and, with the 
dogs lying close beside me for warmth 
and company, soon dozed oft' to sleep, 
being very weary. 

I may have slept for an hour or 
more, when I was awakened by the 
barking of one of the dogs. He was 
seated on a hillock outside, bark- 
ing, and looking into the distance, 
where I could see nothing, though the 
rain had ceased and the stars were 
now shining. But I soon discovered 
that he was answering another dog, for 
after listening intently I heard in the 
distance, far below me, that measured 
yap, yap, yap, followed by intervals of 
silence, which is so hard to bear when 
one wants to sleep, and the watch- 
dog's dishonest bark either " bays the 
whispering wind," or holds distant 
converse with a neighbour. So I got 
up, and though my ankle was swollen 
and painful, I girded myself and 
went my way, guided by the sound. 
After stumbling wearily along, and 
falling many times, I at last arrived 
at what seemed to be a farm-house of 
the better sort, through the window of 
which I saw with great joy a cheerful 
fire blazing. 



The dog who had led me thither 
was seated on a dunghill outside the 
door, and was soon waging fierce 
battle with both my dogs, and the 
noise which they made, and my cries 
whilst striving to part them, soon 
roused the inmates. The door was 
opened, and a girl's voice was heard 
calling, " Taypob, Taypot, ye blaggard, 
come in out of that ! " whilst a deeper 
voice in the background asked 

"Who's there? Come in whoever 
ye are, in the name of God." 

The girl who was standing at the 
door started back on seeing the gun, 
but being aware of " the smell-dogs," 
as our American cousins call them, 
and noting my sporting gear, she said 
in a pleasant voice, " Come in out of 
the could, sir, sure it's late ye're out. 
Och ! 'Tis desthroyed with the wet ye 
are. He's lame too, the crayture," 
she added kindly. '" Is it the way ye 
hurted yerself, sir % " 

" Put a chair for the gintleman, 
Mary. Have ye no manners ? " said 
an old man who was crouching on a 
settle in the ingle nook. "I can't 
stir meself, sir," he added ; " I'm 
fairly bate wid the rheumatism. May- 
be 'tis the way ye got lost on the 
mountain, sir ? I seen the fog comin* 
up and 'tisn't the first time I seen 
that same to happen to a gintleman 
in that very shpot. That mountain is 
very vinimous to them that isn't well 
acquainted wid it." 

So I told him my tale and asked 
him if I could stop for the night, for 
he let me know that Mr. Bourke's 
house was " a matther of seven Irish 
mile away," and he replied, 

" Why then to be sure ! and wel- 
come, only it's a poor place for the 
likes of yer honour, but if ye're any 
relation of Misther Bourke ye can't 
help bein' a rale gintleman, and ye 
won't mind it. 'Tis only them half 
sirs and the likes that's conthrary in 
themselves, and that the divil himself 
couldn't plaze ; and Mary, sure his 
honour will be hungry, small blame 
to him ! We'll have the praties biled 
in a brace of shakes, and a rasher of 



Irish Shootings. 



95 



bacon, and a basin of milk; sure that's 
betther than the hunger anyways, 
though 'tisn't what ye're used to." 

Here I may remark that the Irish 
peasant is essentially a well-bred 
person, and might set an example of 
good manners to many who look upon 
themselves as his social superiors. An 
Irishman, even of the poorest, will 
give you the shelter of his roof and 
all that his poor house contains with 
perfect hospitality, and with a true 
welcome, and having once and for all 
apologised for the shortcomings of his 
menage, will not (as he considers it) 
insult your good feeling by further 
excuses \ but will take it for granted 
that you will accept the best which he 
can give you, be it good or bad, in 
the same kindly spirit in which he 
offers it. 

It was not very long before I was 
sitting down to a smoking dish of 
excellent potatoes, and an appetising 
rasher, which Mary deftly cooked, 
having learned (as she informed me) 
cooking and other accomplishments at 
the convent school. Now that I had 
time to look at her, I discovered that 
she was an uncommonly handsome and 
attractive girl, about nineteen years 
of age, dark-haired, with large merry 
blue eyes, "put in with a dirty 
finger" a distinctly Spanish type of 
face and figure, such as you meet 
now and then in the west and south, 
in remarkable contrast to the abori- 
ginal type, which it must be con- 
fessed, is the reverse of attractive. 
It is strange how traces of the old 
Spanish connection crop up, and how 
the young people sometimes " throw 
back " to the southern ancestor. One 
also lights upon other links of the 
broken chain now and then, in out-of- 
the-way places. Thus to my great 
surprise I happened on a little boy 
not long ago in a southern county 
whose Christian name was Alfonso, 
though his surname was only Egan. 
His parents told me that he was called 
after his great-grandfather, but they 
had no tradition of any Spanish con- 
nection, and of a truth they bore no 



outward token of any such strain of 
foreign blood. 

Mary's father, too, was to all ap> 
pearance a Celt. He was a big, black- 
bearded man, well past middle age. 
He must have been a strong able 
man in his day, but he now seemed 
bowed down with pain and sickness. 
The family consisted, in addition to 
these two, of an active, bright-eyed 
boy about thirteen years of age, two 
younger children, and a stout, red- 
legged servant maid. 

After I had finished a hearty meal, 
seasoned with the best of sauce, I 
produced my flask, into which I had 
dipped but modestly, and Mary having 
brought glasses and the " matarials," 
I proceeded to mix a couple of stiff 
tumblers for her father and myself ; 
and having persuaded him after due 
apology to join me in a pipe, we drew 
round the blazing fire of turf and 
bog-deal into the cosy ingle nook, and 
laid ourselves out for a chat. 

The old man seemed delighted to 
break the monotony of his life by 
conversation with a stranger, and I 
interested them all by giving them an 
account of the United States, where 
I had been travelling a short time 
before, and to which many of their 
relations and friends had emigrated. 
Then we began to talk about the state 
of the country, concerning which they 
were much more reticent. 

" It was purty quiet in these parts, 
glory be to God ! " said the old man, 
u though I'm tould there's bad work 
elsewhere." 

He said his own farm was a good 
one, with " the grass of fifteen cows," 
for the extent of farms in the wild 
west is measured by their grazing 
capabilities, not by the acreage. His 
rent was fair, and the times he ad- 
mitted were pretty good. 

"Were there any bad characters 
about I" I asked. 

" Well, no, not many ; barrin' wan, 
and he was on the run (flying from 
justice), and a good job too." 

" Who was he, and what had he 
done'4" 



96 



Irish Shootings. 



"He was wan Murty O'Hea, a 
broken farmer, and a bad mimber 
everyways, and there was a warrant 
out agin him, along of a dacent boy 
of the O'Connors that he kilt, and 
that swore informations agin him 
accordingly." 

" Yes, and there's no fear he'd bate 
him no, nor two like him only he 
got a vacancy on him (got inside his 
guard) by chance, and gave him a 
conthrary (foul) sthroke, wan dark 
night," said Mary. 

" Oho ! " said I, " you seem to know 
all about it, Mary. It wasn't about 
you that they were fighting, was 
iU" 

At which Mary blushed and hung 
her head and showed her long eye- 
lashes, and looked quite pretty enough 
to have been the cause of one of those 
dreadful wars which we are told did 
not begin with Helen. 

" But was that the only reason he 
had for running away ? " I asked. 

" Och, no," replied the father. " He 
owed five years' rent to the masther, 
and his credit was bate wid all the 
shopkeepers, and what he owed for 
whiskey is unknownst ; and the 
masther ejected him a year ago, and 
nobody would take the farm for fear 
of him and of his faction, that's sthrong 
in these parts, till meself tuk the 
grazin' of half of it for six months, 
for I has more cattle than I can feed ; 
but nobody will go to live there." 

" Yes, and sorry I am ye ever had 
anything to say to it, and 'twould be 
betther for ye a dale if ye tuk my 
advice and left it alone. 'Tisn't looky," 
said Mary. 

" Why thin, maybe ye're right, and 
I'm thinkin' I'll be said by ye, Mary, 
and give it up next week, for ye has 
a dale of sinse sometimes for a 
shlip of a girl. Come hether to me. 
Whisper," said he ; and after a short 
colloquy Mary lighted a candle and 
went out. 

" I sees ye're sleepy, sir," said the 
old man. " Ye had a long day. Is 
the fut bad wid ye now, yer honour?" 

"Oh, no," said I. "It's a little 



swollen, but I can walk all right, at 
any rate with my boot off." 

"Well, Mary will have the bed 
ready in the room for ye prisintly, 
and though it's a poor place for the 
likes of ye, ye're young, God bless ye, 
and ye're tired ; ye'll get a good sleep. 
Och hone ! 'tis many's the night since 
I had the good sleep, wid me joints, 
and a toothache in every knuckle of 
them ! " 

Here we were interrupted by the 
loud barking of the house-dog, to 
which my two pointers responded with 
growlings. The latch was raised, and 
a countryman burst in. He had 
neither coat nor hat, and he looked 
wild and distraught, his clothes drip- 
ping with water as though he had 
fallen into some dyke or bog-hole. 

"Oh, Paddy," he cried, "ye un- 
fortunate crayture ! Run ! Hun for 
yer life ! They're comin' to ye to- 
night, and if they ketches ye, ye're a 
dead man. Didn't I tell ye how 
'twould be, when ye was so covatious 
and couldn't let that farm alone ? " 

Poor Paddy trembled visibly, whilst 
Mary, who had joined us, turned very 
white, and the children clustered round 
us, crying. 

" Run is it ! " answered Paddy. 
" That's a quare story ! How would 
the likes of me run, when I can only 
crawl across the flure, about as quick 
as a dhrucktheen? (a slug). Run? 
Moryah ! (forsooth). 'Tis aisy to 
say run, and where would I run to? 
Ye knows as well as me that none of 
the neighbours would lave me in if 
them is comin' that you knows of. 
Och ullagone ! If they'll kill me out 
of hand 'tis little I cares, only for 
Mary and the childher. Well, 'tis the 
will of God, I suppose. Glory be to 
his name : Amin ! " a response in 
which all the others, even the little 
children, joined. 

"Who's coming?" asked I, "and 
what's it all about ? 7> 

" Who's this ? " asked the new 
comer, in whom I recognised my 
friend of the morning. " Och ! 'tis 
the gintleman from Misther Bourke's. 



Irish Shootings. 



97 



Come away, yer honour, this is no 
place for the likes of you. What did 
I tell you this mornin' 1 " 

" Yes, but what's the row 1 " said I. 
"I don't understand." 

" 'Tis the Land Layguers," he replied 
in a low voice, and pointing to my 
host. " He's broke the rules, and 'tis 
the ordher, I'm tould. They'll kill 
him to-night. There's no fear of 
the childher, they won't touch them. 
Do you come away wid me, yer 
honour; I'll see ye safe." 

Indeed I won't," said I. " They 
took me in when I was wet and 
hungry, and gave me food and shelter, 
and I won't desert them now at a 
pinch. Besides, look at my foot. I 
couldn't walk if I would, and I 
wouldn't if I could. Will you stay 
yourself and help to fight ? " 

" Is it me ? " he said, turning pale. 
" Och, no, I darn't ; and what could 
the likes of me do ? " 

" Will you go and warn the polis, 
then?" asked Mary, who seemed to 
be recovering her courage and her 
colour. 

" No, I'd be afeard," he replied. 
''Sure, all the count hry would know 
'twas me that sould the pass. Them 
polis wouldn't keep it saycret ; there's 
no thrusting thim." 

" Dinny," cried Mary, turning to 
one of the boys, " you go." 

" I will," said Dinny, jumping up 
and snatching his cap. 

" How far is the police station ? " I 
asked. 

" 'Tis a matther of four Irish mile, 
and meself is afeard the polis is sent 
away wid false news to the wesht." 

" Dinny," said Mary, whilst her 
cheeks were dyed with a bright blush, 
''call down first to Darby O'Connor's. 
Tell him that we're set, and to carry 
the car and the mare, and to dhrive 
like the divil afther the polis, and to 
bring them back wid him." 

" Good ! " said I ; " you're a brave 
girl, and we're not dead yet ; " and I 
tore a leaf out of my note-book and 
wrote on it an urgent message. 

" Give this to the sergeant, Dinny," 

No. 314. VOL. LIII. 



said I, " and tell him, when he comes 
within hearing of the house, to fire a 
shot, and to let a screech out of him- 
self, and we'll hold out as long as 
we can." 

" How soon will they be here, 
James 1 " asked Paddy. 

"They won't be here before an 
hour, anyways, and maybe not till 
the latther ind of the night. They're 
comin' from the say. Murty O'Hea 
is the head of them, and there's seven 
or eight black (surly, determined) 
boys wid him, sthrangers from the 
islands I'm tould ; but they're waitin' 
for some sinther (centre) from the 
County Limerick. Well, God help ye 
all this night ! Come away, Dinny. I'll 
see ye safe as far as Darby's. God 
bless yer honour ! Ye' re a brave 
gintleman. I said to meself this 
mornin' that ye was the right sort." 
And they went out and shut the 
door. 

" Now, Mary," said I, " come 
along ; you and the girl. We must 
make the house as secure as we can. 
We have plenty of time, and we're 
not going to be killed like sheep." 

First I turned out my game bag, and 
found, to my horror, that I had only 
seven cartridges left, and three of 
them were snipe shot, whilst the re- 
mainder were only No. 6. I had 
taken fewer than usual with me, not 
expecting much sport, and of these I 
had wasted too many in wild shooting. 
" Never mind," said I ; " the greater 
reason for shooting straight now." 

First I inspected the fortress. The 
dwelling-house consisted, as is usual 
in the houses of the peasantry, of 
two living-rooms only, separated by 
a partition, with the chimney at 
one side and a high gable at the 
other. The kitchen had two doors 
directly facing each other, and was 
lighted by a single window in the 
front. The bedroom was also lighted 
by one window, which looked to the 
rear ; and communicating with the 
bedroom by a small door, and running 
at right angles to the rear of the 
dwelling-house, was a third room or 



98 



Irish Shootings. 



store-house, with a second door open- 
ing on the back yard. This room was 
now half full of potatoes and turnips. 

The front door was as strong as I 
could desire, being made of solid oak 
(the spoil of some wreck), firmly 
bolted and bound with iron. The 
back door, however, was weak ; both 
were fastened by ricketty locks and 
good stout wooden bars. I found that 
there was good store of suitable 
timber for barricading both doors and 
windows ; the loft, which extended as 
usual from the fire-place to half-way 
across the living - room, being alto- 
gether floored with "treble deals," 
also from some wreck. These deals 
were not nailed, but were laid loose 
across the joists, each deal being 
about fifteen feet long by eighteen 
inches wide, and three inches thick. 
I also found some shorter pieces, 
which, placed against the door panels, 
served as backing ; and having but- 
tressed them firmly with rows of 
deals secured by wedges to others, 
which I laid flat upon the floor from 
wall to wall, and fastened with stout 
nails, or rather spikes, of which I 
found a goodly bag, I felt pretty sure 
that my doors could stand a siege, 
if the enemy were unprovided with 
a battering train. The windows I 
secured in a similar fashion with 
mattresses, leaving a loop-hole in 
each. 

I then, with the assistance of the 
women and the eldest boy, made the 
store-room's outer door safe by piling 
up all the turnips and potatoes against 
it, thus making a most effectual bar- 
ricade. By the time this was done I 
found that it was a quarter past 
eleven, and the boy had been gone 
just three-quarters of an hour. " He 
ought to be nearly at the police station 
now, Mary," said I. 

" He ought so," said she, "if he tuk 
the horse. She can go, niver fear, and 
Darby won't spare her. Only if the 
polis was sent away afther a red 
herring, 'twill be a bad job." 

" Well, maybe they've found out 
their mistake by this time. We can 



hold out for an hour at any rate, 
unless they burn us." 

" I don't think there's much fear of 
that," said the father. " The thatch 
is ould and rotten, and 'tis soaked wid 
the wather for the last week. I'm 
goin' to have it renewed wid two 
years. 'Tis looky now I didn't ; " 
and he evidently hugged himself 
upon his foresight, and became a 
little more cheerful. 

"Now," said I, "put out the fire, 
and put the candle behind the 
door in the room, so that 'twill just 
give us light to move about by, and 
no more. By the way, you haven't 
got a crow-bar, have you ? " 

" Why wouldn't we 1 " said Mary. 
"Here it is, and a bill-hook too, a 
good sthrong one." 

"Oh, it's not to fight with that I 
want the crow-bar, but that bill-hook 
is a good weapon at a pinch. Put 
it behind the door, Mary. Is it 
sharp 1 " 

" 'Tis, sir. I put a great edge on it 
nieself yestherday, in the way I'd cut 
down some furze wid it." 

"Good," said I; "now bring the 
light," and going into the store-room, 
after a good deal of labour (for all the 
walls were over two feet thick) I 
knocked out two loop-holes, whereby 
I could command the back door. I 
only wished that I had a similar coign 
of vantage from which to enfilade the 
front ; in which case, if we were fire- 
proof, as the old man thought, I might 
set the gang at defiance, or at any rate 
as long as my cartridges should last. 
Unfortunately the relative positions 
of the front door and window were 
such that any one standing close to the 
former could not be touched from the 
latter. 

I left the maid-servant and the 
eldest child, a sharp boy of eleven, 
on guard at the loop-holes, and re- 
turned to the kitchen. The old man 
was crooning over the scattered 
embers ; Mary was standing by his 
side, pale and quiet. We waited long. 
No sound broke the stillness, save 
the occasional smothered whine of one 



Irish Shootings. 



of the dogs who was hunting in his 
dreams, and the old man's laboured 
breathing, broken sometimes by a 
stifled cough. Mary had sunk down 
upon the settle, and covered her face 
with her hands. 

The servant girl stirred uneasily, 
and knocked down a heap of potatoes 
which rolled along the earthen floor. 
The shrill whistle of a red-shank, flying 
overhead, startled us for an instant. 
I looked through the loop-holed win- 
dow ] the sea lay calm and still in 
the moonlight, darkened towards the 
horizon by a light breeze, which was 
creeping in. The light was dim, for 
the air was full of vapour, but there 
was enough to shoot by. 

"Mary," I heard the old man whim- 
per, " ye'll bury me, agragal, in Kil- 
colman churchyard by the mother, and 
ye'll give me a decent funeral ; and 
maybe when I'm dead thim that 
looked black on me of late will for- 
get it and come to me wake. Yer 
mother had a great wake, and there 
was a power of people at her funeral, 
though maybe ye doesn't remember 
it ; and me father aiqually so. God 
rest their souls this night ! " 

"Whisht, father, whisht!" replied 
Mary. " The tibbacky isn't sowed 
yet that will be smoked at yer 
wake." 

" It's ten minutes past twelve now," 
said I ; " surely the police at any rate 
ought to be showing up." 

Just then the dog, which we had 
turned out of doors, began to growl. 
Then came a few short barks, as he 
jumped behind a hedge some thirty 
yards to the front, after which he was 
suddenly silent, and I heard some one 
saying, in a low and insinuating voice, 
"Taypot, poor Taypot 1 doesn't you 
know me 1" followed by the sound of 
a dull stroke and a sharp yelp, which 
instantly ceased. 

" Tell Judy to keep a sharp look-out, 
Mary," said I, "and don't you stop in 
front of the door." 

" All right, sir," said she. 
Then there was an interval of 
silence, lasting for at least ten 



minutes ; nothing stirred in front, 
and the tension of our nerves was 
becoming painful. 

" What can they be waiting for ? " 
said I. 

" Maybe the whole of them isn't 
come yet," replied Mary. 

" Well, the longer they wait the 
better. 'Twill give the police more 
time to come up. When they come, 
Mary, do you answer them ; but don't 
speak for some minutes, just as if you 
were getting out of bed, and stand 
close to the wall." 

" They'll thry the back dure first, 
sir ; 'tis the wakest." 

" So much the better. If they do, 
I'll mark one of them, at any rate, 
and maybe two. Oh, if I only had a 
bullet!" 

Just then Judy rushed in. " They're 
coming to the back dure, sir ! " 

" How many ? " I asked. 

" Oh, a power of them. How can 
I tell how many ? Isn't their faces 
black ] Murty O'Hea is there for wan. 
I'd know the voice of him if his head 
was off his shoulders." 

I lost no time in getting to my loop- 
hole in the store-room. The boy was 
squatted eager- eyed at the other. They 
were eight in all. Four were armed 
with guns, the others had only Cle- 
alpines (or black-thorn sticks). Brave 
fellows, they were not afraid even 
with such slight weapons to face a 
rheumatic old man ! All their faces 
were blackened. As I got into posi- 
tion, a powerful, undersized, red- 
bearded savage, whom I recognised 
by the description given me as Mary's 
quondam lover, was in the act of 
knocking at the door. He knocked 
three times before there was any 
answer. All the others remained 
drawn up in line, with their backs 
to the wall, at the side farthest from 
the window. 

At last I heard Mary ask, in a 
sleepy tone, " Who's there? " 

" A friend," was the reply, evidently 
in a disguised voice. 

" Well, friend, what does ye want 
at this hour ? " 

H 2 



100 



Irish Shootings. 



" I wants to see the man of the 
house. I has a message for him." 

11 Well, keep it till the mornin'. I'm 
not goin' to open the dure at this hour 
of the night, and bad mimbres about 
too, as maybe ye knows. To the divil 
wid yerself and yer message ! " 

But though poor Mary spoke so 
bravely, I noted that her voice trem- 
bled. Then came a low curse in 
Irish. 

" Come on, boys," cried the ruffian, 
" ye knows what we has to do. There's 
no use in waitin'." 

Just then the moon shone out from 
behind a veil of mist. I levelled my 
gun, took a steady and careful aim 
at the fellow's eye, and pulled the 
trigger ; but, as bad luck would have 
it, just at that instant he stooped to 
put his eye to the key-hole, and the 
shot glanced over him, but caught his 
next neighbour (who was a tall man) 
in the shoulder. He staggered and 
yelled but did not fall ; and as the 
whole mob turned to fly, I let drive 
at the lot of them, peppering more 
than one, as the chorus of yells which 
followed the shot bore witness; but 
I apparently left their leader un- 
touched, and before I could reload, they 
had all taken refuge behind a hedge 
some distance to the rear. 

" Well done, yer honour ! " cried the 
little boy in wild delight. " Begor, ye 
warmed them anyways. Did ye see 
that last fellow scratchin' himself as if 
bees was swarmin' about him 1 " 

" Go back to your hole, you young 
scamp, and don't take your eye off it, 
or I'll warm you, where I warmed him. 
And you, Judy, come back too." 

" Did ye kill him ? " cried Mary, 
excitedly. " Oh, if ye only kilt kirn, I 
don't care what would happen to us." 

" No. Mary, I'm afraid not. Better 
luck next time." 

" Och ! 'tis a pity," said she. 

" They'll try the front door next," 
said I. " We must keep a sharp look- 
out." But we waited long. At last 
I said to my companion, " I think 
they've had enough." 

"No fear," she replied. "If that 



one is alive they'll be back." But 
we waited and waited, and though I 
thought I heard a confused murmur, 
still no one appeared. At last Judy 
came stealing in. 

" I'm thinkin'," said she, " there's 
wan on the roof." 

"Where?" asked I. 

"The room." 

I stole in gently, and after listening 
for a moment, I could distinctly hear 
some one above, fumbling as it seemed 
with the thatch. 

" He's thryin' to set it a-fire," said 
Judy. " I think 'twill bate him. Ye 
might as well thry to light a wather- 
fall wid two matches." 

"Well," said I, "'tis a pity to 
waste No. 6 at such close quarters," so 
I slipped in a cartridge of snipe shot, 
and putting the muzzle of the gun 
close to the sound, I fired. There was 
the noise of a body slipping down the 
steep roof, a heavy thud followed by a 
deep groan, and all was still. 

"That's three cartridges gone, and 
two fellows disabled at any rate. 
Stand back ! " I cried, as I saw a flash 
from the hedge in front, followed by a 
volley, which struck the front door, 
apparently without penetrating. 

"That's good," said Mary, "bark 
away ! Maybe ye'll wake the polis 
in time." 

After this we had another and a 
longer respite, but we could hear a 
confused murmur of voices, apparently 
in altercation, from the direction of 
the haggard (hay-yard or hay-guard). 

" I think they must have got more 
help," said the old man, who had 
regained his courage and was now to 
all appearances enjoying the fight. 

" Keep a good look-out, Judy," I 
cried to our sentry. 

" Never fear, yer honour. They're 
buzzin' like bees behind there." 

" I think," said I, " they must have 
some one with them who has smelt 
powder before, or they would have 
had enough by this time." 

" Most like," replied Mary. "Tim 
Healy, a Yankee Irishman that was 
in the war, wid two more sthrangers, 



Irish Shootings. 



101 



was seen at the crass-roads on Sun- 
day." 

" Here they come," said I. " What 
devilment are they up to now 1 " 

I might well ask. They had got a 
cart and piled it with sheaves of 
oats, and lashed bundles of straw to 
the axle so as to protect their legs ; 
and as the haggard was unfortunately 
on a higher level than the house, they 
had no difficulty in running this 
testudo down the road which led to 
the latter. 

" Tis the way they're goin' to burn 
us ! " cried Mary. 

" I don't think so," said I, as I saw 
them directing the engine straight 
for the window at which I was posted. 
"They want to block our loop-hole 
and then force the door. Oh, why 
didn't I make one in the door ? " 

" Ah ! you've got that ! " I added, 
as the cart-wheel swerved over a stone, 
exposing a fellow's legs, which I 
promptly dosed with shot, though at 
too long a range to do him much 
harm, although I made him yell. 

" Ye hit him ! "' cried Mary. " Well 
done ! Ye're a fine man at a pinch. 
God bless ye ! What would we do 
widout ye this night?" 

Here the cart came bang against 
our only loop-hole. " What will be 
their next move now?" I wondered ; 
"this is becoming serious ;" and like 
Wellington I prayed for morning, or 
the police. We were not kept long in 
doubt. Judy cried out from behind, 
"They're takin' round the laddher, 
a lot of them," and at the same time a 
voice was heard from behind the front 
door. 

"Open the dure. Ye'd betther. 
If ye forces us to dhrive it in, we'll 
kill every wan of ye, man, woman, and 
child." 

" We will not," cried Mary gallant- 
ly. "I know ye, Murty O'Hea, 
and I'll live to see ye swing for this 

yet." 

" Ah ! ye knows me, does ye, Mary 1 
So does Darby O'Connor too. I left 
me mark on him, and I'll lave it on 
you to-night. He may marry ye to- 



morrow mornin' if he likes. I'll not 
hindher him, never fear." 

At this horrid threat poor Mary 
fairly broke down. She threw herself 
on the ground and flung her arms 
round my knees. " Promise me, sir, 
promise me, that ye' 11 kill me before 
ye lets him touch me. You're a 
gintleman and you'll keep yer word." 

"Nonsense, Mary," said I. "Never 
mind the ruffian. He'll never get in 
here while I'm alive." 

" He will, he will. Well I knows 
him. Promise me quick that yell 
keep wan shot for me 1 Oh, man ! " 
she cried, as I still hesitated, " had ye 
niver a mother ? ' ' 

"All right, Mary, I promise." 

" God bless ye," said she, getting 
up. " I don't care now, and maybe I'll 
lave me mark on some of them yet ; " 
and she seized the bill-hook, and stood 
ready behind the door. The bill-hook 
was a handy and most efficient weapon, 
somewhat like the old Saxon bill, with 
a curved steel blade about eighteen 
inches long, rivetted to an ashen 
handle some three feet in length. 

"Begor," said the old man, upon 
whose face the light of battle was 
stealing, and who now looked quite 
cheerful, " I'll have a sthroke for me 
life too. We're not bate yet. 'Tis 
the heaviest showers that clears away 
the quickest," and seizing an old 
scythe blade, he hobbled over and 
planted himself against the wall. 

" Well done, Paddy," said I. "Never 
say die." 

Here we were interrupted by a 
tremendous blow on the front door, 
which shivered the lock and shook the 
fastenings, but failed to start the 
struts or backing with which I had 
braced it. They were using the ladder 
as a battering ram. 

" At it again, boys ! " cried the 
voice of the arch-ruffian, and the 
blows were repeated once and again 
with increased force, but still the 
backing stood fast. After a fourth 
blow however, a panel gave way be- 
tween the props, leaving a hole of 
about one foot by ten inches ; but the 



102 



Irish Shootings. 



supports above and below were as 
strong as ever. A shot was promptly 
fired through this hole which smashed 
some crockery on the dresser, but the 
assailants, no doubt recollecting that 
one shot could go out where another 
could come in, drew back for consulta- 
tion, and did not care apparently 
to renew the attack. After a few 
minutes Judy rushed in, " Come quick, 
sir," cried she; "they're stalin' round 
wid the laddher, while you're watchin' 
the front. They knows the back dure 
is wake." 

I was just in time. They were 
coming up with a rush, seven of them, 
bearing the ladder, and as soon as I 
got them nearly end on I fired, and 
evidently peppered more than one, 
judging from the chorus of yells which 
they set up as they dropped the ladder. 
I could have got a beautiful flying 
shot at the last man, but I had now 
only two cartridges left, and as one of 
them was promised to Mary, I desired 
to keep the other in reserve. Startled 
by a cry from her I rushed back into 
the kitchen, and saw her by the dim 
light, with her white teeth set, bring- 
ing down the bill-hook with the full 
swing of her nervous young arms 
upon a hand which had stolen in 
through the hole and was trying to 
undo the bar. The blow was followed 
by a fearful howl, and something 
dropped upon the floor. 

" More power to ye, Mary ! " cried 
the old man. " You done it well. Put 
in the other hand, ye spalpeen, till 
she'll thrim it for ye to match that 
wan. Here's the polis at last. 'Tis 
a'inost time for thim," as a shot was 
heard a long way down the road, fol- 
lowed by a faint shout, and in about 
five minutes the rattling of car-wheels 
was heard up the stony ascent, whilst 
outside the house we could hear the 
rapid flight of hurrying feet as our 
assailants at last withdrew. 

In a few minutes the police were at 
the door, led by a stalwart young 
peasant, who, as soon as we undid the 
fastenings, rushed in and threw his 
arms around Mary. " Ye're not hurt, 



acushla?" said he. "The Lord be 
praised ! I niver thought I'd see 
ye alive agin." 

"Small thanks to you," said she, 
pushing him away. " Ye may thank 
this gintleman here that stood to us. 
I suppose 'tis the way ye was polishin' 
yer boots or ilin' yer hair, beforye'd 
come to help us." 

" No," replied he, " but the polis 
was sint away wandherin' as far as 
Ballinhassig Bridge, a matther of six 
mile, and we tuk the wrong road. 
We'd never be here only for the mare. 
She's kilt outside, the crayture. She 
haven't a shake left in any hair of 
her tail : if she went on another 
mile she'd dhrop before she got half 
way." 

" 'Tis true for him, sir," said the 
sergeant. "We went on what we 
thought was sure information, and we 
wouldn't have come back only for 
your note. But we mustn't waste 
time. Which way did they go ? " 

" They came from the say," said 
Mary. 

" Oh, thin they've gone back the 
same way. I saw a hooker standing 
in before dusk. Who warned you, sir?" 

"Don't tell," whispered Mary 
eagerly. " The people would kill 
him." 

" I don't know," said I. " He was 
a stranger to me." 

"It's no use askin' any of ye, I sup- 
pose," said the sergeant, looking round 
at the stolid faces of his hearers. 
" Come on, boys, we're only wasting 
time. Will you come with us, sir ? " 

"No, I can't," said I. "I've hurt 
my foot." 

"I'll come wid ye," said Darby. 
" I'd like to have a sthroke at the 
villain. What's this ? " added he, pick- 
ing up three bloody fingers and a 
portion of a hand off the floor. 

"That's Mary's work," said I. 
" Only a gentleman's hand which he 
offered her and which she accepted-" 

" 'Tis Murty O'Hea's finger," said 
Darby, dancing with delight. " I'd 
know that crook in it if it was biled, 
and the red hair." 



Irish Shootings. 



103 



" Aye, he left the mark of it on ye 
more than once," said Mary, spite- 
fully. 

"Oh, Mary, ye' re a grand girl! 
There isn't the likes of ye undher the 
canopy. Ye gave him a resate for me, 
anyways." 

"Come along, men," said the ser- 
geant, "we have no tiine to lose. 
They have the start of us. Hallo! 
Here's a pool of blood, where some- 
body fell. Did ye warm many of 
them, sir ? " 

"About half a dozen, I think," 
said I ; " but I had only small shot." 

" This fellow got a good dose at any 
rate. We're bound to ketch him," 

So away they went, but came back 
about day-break tired and crest-fallen. 
Whilst they were searching the bay 
in front, the gang escaped over the 
shoulder of the hill to another creek 
half a mile to the southward ; and the 
police were only in time to see the 
hooker rounding the further point and 
running fast before a north-easterly 
breeze which had sprung up towards 
morning. The gang was apparently 
strong-handed, for they took away 
their wounded with them. 

About three weeks after the night 
of the siege I was packing up my 
traps on the eve of my departure from 
Ireland, when a servant came in and 
told me that a person wanted to see 
me. 

"Who is it?" Tasked. 

" Oh, she didn't tell me her name, 
but sure, what matter? She's the 
purtiest girl ever ye see. She's purty 
enough to frighten ye." 

I went down stairs, and in the hall 
I found my friend Mary, blushing 
like a rose in June. 

"I hear tell that ye were goin' 
away to-morrow, sir," she said, " and 
I was in a terrible fright I wouldn't 
have thim done in time, but I finished 
them to-day, glory be to God ! " 

"Finished what, Mary? If you 



only did it as well as the last piece of 
work you had a hand in you made a 
good job of it, whatever it is." 

" Och, no," said she smiling, " 'tis 
the fut this time ] " and she pulled out 
from under her cloak six pairs of 
beautiful black lamb's-wool stockings 
which she had made for me. 

" Oh, thank you, Mary," said I. 
"It was really very kind of you to 
take so much trouble for me. I shall 
value them very much, and you may 
be sure that I'll never put them on 
without thinking of you." 

"Throuble?" said she. "What's 
throuble? Where would I be to-day, 
only for you that night? I hear 
you're goin' a long journey, and I'll 
think of you when the nights is dark 
and the says is high. And oh, I pray 
to God Almighty," she added, falling 
on her knees, "that he'll carry ye 
safe, wheriver ye goes ; and that the 
holy Jasus may put his shoulder to ye 
when ye are in danger, as ye did to 
us that night ; and that he may open 
a gap for ye, and shlip ye inside the 
walls of heaven someways, when ye 
die. Amin." 

"Thank you very much, Mary," 
said I. " I hope to hear good news of 
you and Darby, and if ever I come 
back you may be sure I won't be long 
in paying you a visit. Did you ever 
hear what became of that scoundrel 
Murty?" 

" Yes, yer honour," said she lower- 
ing her voice. " I hear that he died 
of the lock-jaw a week aft her, but 
sure I couldn't help it, and the priest 
himself said I sarved him right. 
Ye kilt that other one dead yerself ; 
and I hear another of 'em is run away 
to America ; and a dale of 'em has the 
small-pox wid the small shot that ye 
scatthered about 'em. Divil mend 
'em ! Well, good-bye to yer honour," 
holding out her hand whilst her bright 
eyes were dimmed with tears, " be 
sure we'll remimber ye and pray for 
ye always." 



104 



A TRANSLATOR OF SHAKESPEARE. 



MORE than half a century has passed 
away since Carlyle first reflected in 
England Goethe's vision of a world- 
literature a literature not of this or 
that people, nation, and language, but 
of all peoples, nations, and languages ; 
and on this, as on many other occa- 
sions, took the opportunity to com- 
mend the work of German over Eng- 
lish translators. There can be no 
doubt but that the idea took far 
stronger hold of German than of Eng- 
lish men of letters, and that the Ger- 
mans have far outstripped us in the 
advance to its fulfilment. It is ac- 
knowledged that the German love for 
Shakespeare falls little short of our 
own. while Dickens and Scott are 
familiar names in German households, 
and Moliere, Gozzi, and Goldoni, no 
less than Shakespeare, find constant 
welcome on the German stage. In 
England, however, the case is very 
different. It may of course be urged 
that if Germany can show such names 
as Goethe, Schiller, Schlegel, and Tieck 
among the ranks of her translators, we 
too can adduce Dryden, Pope, Cowper, 
Shelley, and Coleridge ; and some may 
feel disposed, at the mention of Pope's 
name, to ask whether no less a person 
than Swift did not write and congratu- 
late Pope, at the conclusion of his ver- 
sion of Homer, on having done with 
translations, and secured his freedom 
from the necessity of misemploying 
his genius, under which a " rascally 
world " had laid him. To this it can 
but be answered that Swift, himself 
the prime instigator of the rascally 
world to the exactions which he repro- 
bates, did so write ; and it must also 
be admitted that translations of Homer 
continue almost annually to be pro- 
duced, and that the Odes of Horace 
and Goethe's ' Faust ' are almost equal 



favourites with English translators. But 
conceding this much, and also the fact 
that English versions of many foreign 
works, from the ' Agamemnon ' of JE>s- 
chylus to the latest novel of M. Zola, 
appear and disappear in the course of 
each year, it still seems that perma- 
nently valuable reproductions of the 
masterpieces of foreign literature are 
remarkably scarce. Englishmen of 
ordinary education can generally 
name three or four translations of 
Homer, but not one of Moliere. 

The reasons for this difference be- 
tween ourselves and the Germans are 
for others to show. Many English- 
men will doubtless plead that the 
existence of a national theatre gives 
a stimulus to German translators, 
which in England is unknown ; many 
more will be led by insular prejudice 
to affirm that the Germans have more 
to gain than ourselves from foreign 
literature. But it is not proposed to 
discuss such questions here. It is, 
however, possible that a short account 
of the life of a German translator may 
not be without interest as throwing 
some light on the process whereby 
Germany contrives to make the 
world's literature her own. The 
name of this man is, we believe, 
quite unknown in England ; and per- 
haps even in Germany, for reasons 
that will presently appear, hardly 
honoured according to his deserts. 
None the less, however, did he find 
at the hands of one whose name has 
reached England, Herr Gustav Frey- 
tag, 1 a brief but affectionate biogra- 
phy, from which the story here told has 
been, by permission, derived. 

Wolf, Count Baudissin, then, was 
born on the 30th of January, 1789. 

1 Im Neuen Reich,' 8th and 15th January, 
1880. 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



105 






He came of one of the many families 
which had fought their way to distinc- 
tion in the Thirty Years' War ; the 
founder thereof having served in the 
Swedish, Danish and Saxon armies, 
and received as reward the estate of 
Rantzau, close to Kiel in Holstein. 
The grandfather of Count Wolf also 
was a major in the Saxon army, but 
being compelled, through no fault of 
his own, to quit that service for the 
Danish, abandoned the profession of 
war for diplomacy, and became Danish 
ambassador at the Court of Berlin, 
finally dying as governor of Copen- 
hagen in 1815. 

Wolf's father likewise entered the 
Danish diplomatic service, and being 
from this cause continually absent 
from home, his children, four sons 
and a daughter, of whom Wolf was 
the eldest, were left almost entirely 
to the care of their mother. Wolf 
was a lively, affectionate boy, with, 
from the first, an insatiable thirst 
for knowledge ; indeed, when but six 
years old he wrote a piteous letter to 
his father, begging him to come home 
soon, as his mother knew so " dread- 
fully little." For all this, however, 
the boy was neither forward nor super- 
ficial ; he was naturally shy, and this 
shyness was increased to a painful de- 
gree by physical weakness and defect- 
ive eyesight. Hence, driven in some 
measure to isolation, he found his 
dearest companions in his books, and 
his unwearied industry enabled him 
to turn that isolation to good account. 
Further, his mother, even if she knew 
11 dreadfully little," took care that her 
deficiencies should be supplemented by 
others ; an enthusiastic scholar had 
charge of Wolf's classical education, 
and inspired him with a love of Greek 
and Latin which never perished. Then 
again, though German systems were 
followed and German sympathies care- 
fully fostered in the training of the 
children, yet, according to the fashion 
of the time, French was the language 
alike of conversation and correspond- 
ence in the family circle a fashion 
which, as will be seen, was many 



years later not without advantage 
even to Germany. 

Up to the year 1802 the family 
spent its life between Kantzau and 
Copenhagen, the former being the 
summer, the latter the winter resi- 
dence. For Copenhagen was now 
substituted the embassy at Berlin a 
change of the highest importance to 
Wolf. True, Berlin had as yet no 
university, but A. W. Schlegel was 
delivering his lectures on literature ; 
Inland had charge of the theatres, 
and the plays represented were those 
of Goethe and Schiller; further, in 
1803, Fichte began his philosophical 
lectures, which, as well as those of 
Schlegel, Wolf constantly attended. 
He now devoted himself to the study 
of English, and completed, at the age 
of fifteen, a translation of ' King Lear,' 
which was read and approved by 
Schlegel himself, and even used by 
Both in his new version of the same 
play, wherein Wolf's share of the work 
was not the least successful. Mean- 
while he was working, to his father's 
great satisfaction, at the office of the 
embassy, copying and even drafting 
despatches ; and for his reward was 
taken by him from time to time among 
the great men then assembled at 
Berlin Fichte, Schlegel, and even 
Schiller. Here also he made the ac- 
quaintance of Zelter, of no small value 
and delight to Wolf, who was passion- 
ately fond of music. 

In 1805 Wolf went with his classi- 
cal tutor to the University of Kiel, 
there to study jurisprudence prepara- 
tory to a diplomatic career; and in 1806 
left Kiel for the University of Gottin- 
gen. The journey was a remarkable 
one. On the road the travellers first 
met the news of Jena, soon confirmed 
by the appearance of a herd of fugi- 
tives from the field, unarmed and de- 
moralised. To the fugitives succeeded 
quickly a regiment of French cuiras- 
siers, and the carriage was stopped till 
the column had passed. Still the tra- 
vellers pushed on ; the sympathies of 
the Baudissins were with Prussia, but 
Wolf cared little yet for politics, and 



106 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



his only fear was lest the course of 
study at Gottingen should be inter- 
rupted by the invasion. This fear, how- 
ever, was not realised, for Gottingen 
had a champion in Christian Gotlob 
Heyne, who, by skilful management and 
good fortune, contrived not only to save 
the University and the surrounding 
district, but even to reap active benefit 
for it from the war. So Gottingen 
shook her head gravely at the tumult 
without, and took no further notice. 
The lectures went on as usual ; the 
students made long excursions on foot 
as usual ; Wolf Baudissin worked with 
book and pen, if possible, harder than 
usual. Why not 1 Are not dons dons 
all the world over ? and is not an uni- 
versity, be it Gottingen or Oxford, the 
very centre and omphalos of the uni- 
verse ? 

" Si fractus illabatur orbis 
Impavidam ferient ruinse." 

But very soon, Gottingen' s placidity 
notwithstanding, Wolf Baudissin be- 
came uncomfortable and restless. 
What business had he studying 
quietly there with Europe seething 
round him, and what profit was he 
to his country or to any one ? The 
thought preyed upon him, and he had 
at one time serious thoughts of enlist- 
ing as a private in a hussar regiment. 
The news of the bombardment of 
Copenhagen in 1807 rallied these 
scattered notions of discontent, and 
concentrated them into ardent pa- 
triotism and intense hatred of Eng- 
land. He found vent for his restless- 
ness in political excitement ; concerned 
as yet only for the plight of his native 
Denmark, and feeling only as a Dane ; 
but soon to feel as, in the widest sense, 
a German. 

In 1808 he went to the University 
of Heidelberg for the summer, and re- 
turned, after a tour in Switzerland, to 
Gottingen, in the autumn of the same 
year. His attention was now given 
mainly to the study of jurisprudence, 
but he found time for his beloved 
music, and for a thorough mastery of 
Spanish, the fruit whereof was a trans- 
lation of Don Quixote, made solely for 



his own improvement. In the spring 
of 1809 he paid a visit to Jena, where 
he had the good fortune to become 
personally acquainted with Goethe. 
The latter appears to have treated 
Baudissin very kindly, and to have 
inspired him with an admiration 
even more than Teutonic. One re- 
mark Goethe made in speaking of 
the German nation, which his young 
visitor had good cause to remember 
many years later. " We have a noble 
pile of fuel," said he, " but we want a 
good grate to hold it all together." 
Eor sixty-two long years was this 
" grate " making, till its completion 
was proclaimed from the palace at 
Versailles. 

In the autumn of 1809 Baudissin 
finally left Gottingen and entered the 
Danish diplomatic service. He was 
able to begin his new career among 
friends and relations ; all the 
higher posts, both of the court and 
of the government, being then in 
the hands of the Schleswig-Holstein 
nobility. Indeed, it was something 
quite out of the common that the 
ministry of foreign affairs should be, 
as it was just at this time, in the 
hands of a Dane Rosenkrantz. Bau- 
dissin was nominated secretary of 
legation at Stockholm, where a Count 
Dernath, his uncle, was ambassador, 
and arrived in that city in January, 
1810. Those were troublous times for 
Sweden. Little more than a year had 
passed since Finland had been ceded 
to Russia; less than a year since a 
bloodless revolution had deposed King 
Gustavus and placed King Christian the 
Thirteenth on the throne ; and now, 
only a few months after Baudissin' s 
arrival, the Duke of Augustenburg, 
appointed heir to the childless King 
Christian, was seized with apoplexy 
while reviewing his regiment, and died 
in a few hours. Report spread among 
the people ^that their favourite had 
been poisoned ; and Baudissin was one 
of those who saw a leading minister 
of state, suspected, as one of the 
obnoxious party of the nobles, to be 
the murderer, dragged from his coach 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



107 



in the funeral procession, and torn to 
pieces by the mob. Intrigue after 
intrigue followed the death of the 
heir. The right of electing a new one 
was vested in the States of Sweden, 
but with France and Russia both 
deeply interested in the matter, it was 
clear that the Swedes would have little 
chance of exercising a free choice. 
The majority of the people favoured 
the election of the deceased prince's 
brother ; the Danish ambassador 
worked with might and main to 
bring the crown of Sweden to Den- 
mark ; but a subtle French agent was 
also busy with misrepresentation and 
other tools of his trade. In a word, 
Marshal Bernadotte was elected ; the 
French took the oyster, Swede and 
Dane took each a shell, and the Prince 
of Ponte Corvo became crown prince 
and practically regent. 

Meanwhile, poor Baudissin was not 
happy. The frivolous society of Stock- 
holm suited him but ill, his uncle's 
methods of proceeding little better ; 
he was lonely and miserable, and but 
for his beloved books would soon have 
resigned his appointment. In time, in- 
deed, he found congenial friends ; but 
also, which was not so welcome, great 

luse for anxiety in the political pro- 
jects of his government and the 
personal status of his uncle. This 

itter was not ill disposed to his 

3phew, and a man of more than 
iverage ability ; but gifted with a fatal 

>ve of intrigue, and a still more fatal 
ibit of undervaluing realities, and 

learing and seeing those things only 
which tended to the furtherance of his 
own projects. He still schemed, notwith- 
standing Bernadotte's election, to win 

Sweden for Denmark, basing all his 
hopes of success on Napoleon, and feel- 
ing confident of the support of his own 

)vernment. The result was an elo- 

luent warning to young Baudissin 
tinst excessive diplomatic subtlety. 

sy the autumn of 1811, Count Der- 

ith's longer stay at Stockholm 
ime impossible, and Baudissin was 
nominated charge d'affaires in his place, 
remaining, as such, the diplomatic 



representative of Denmark at Stock- 
holm, until March, 1813. His position 
was not an easy one. On the one 
hand his own government, still in 
possession of Norway and the Duchies, 
had not relinquished the hope of 
becoming the great Scandinavian 
power, and, encouraged by Count 
Dernath, was strongly inclined to trust 
to Napoleon's invincibility. On the 
other, Sweden, equally with Russia 
and England, earnestly sought the 
alliance of Denmark, Bernadotte's 
ambition being the leadership of a 
Swedo-Danish army ; while Russia 
went so far as to offer a bribe of 
German territory as Denmark's share 
in the spoil. It so happened also 
that Stockholm became the channel 
through which the powers of the Great 
Eastern Alliance sought the adher- 
ence of Denmark. The Russian am- 
bassador chose to make his offers 
to Baudissin rather than through his 
emissary at Copenhagen ; and Berna- 
dotte said plainly that he distrusted 
his own agent at Copenhagen, and pre- 
ferred to treat with the Danish 
government through the young charge 
d'affaires at Stockholm. Thus, from 
the autumn of 1812, Swede and 
Russian bid against each other to gain 
the Danish Alliance ; every offer being 
made in strictest confidence to Baudis- 
sin. A curious position this for a 
diplomat of but two years' standing 
and no more than twenty-three years 
of age, rendered perhaps more easy by 
the fact that in the main he agreed 
with those who were pressing him 
most closely. Already becoming more 
German than Danish he shrank from 
the project of Danish opposition to a 
real German rising, and, in direct con- 
tradiction to his uncle, expressed to his 
government his firm conviction that 
Denmark's real salvation lay in alli- 
ance with the powers of the East. It 
was possibly from a knowledge of his 
opinions that the Swedish and Russian 
agents alike determined to address 
themselves mainly to him ; possibly also 
from a hope that one so young and in- 
experienced would be more easily man- 



108 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



ageable. In this last hope, at any rate, 
they were deceived, for Baudissin, young 
as he was, possessed all the best quali- 
ties of a diplomatist. To unswerving 
probity he joined a simple straight- 
forwardness which won him a confi- 
dence denied to more tortuous spirits ; 
while a silent attention, innate percep- 
tion of character, and an extraordinary 
memory enabled him to appraise that 
confidence at its true value. And it 
is sufficiently evident that his worth 
was duly appreciated even by those 
who held views diametrically opposed 
to his own; for the Danish government, 
heedless though it was of his recom- 
mendations, did not fail to compliment 
him on the manner in which he 
performed his duties. It was this 
infatuation at Copenhagen, however, 
which made his position so difficult 
and so anxious ; and it was a day of 
relief and rejoicing to him when the 
news of the retreat from Moscow 
reached Stockholm. Moreover, as if 
to complete his satisfaction, there 
arrived about this time August Wil- 
helm Schlegel and Madame de Stael, 
both of whom admitted him to inti- 
macy. Of the latter, indeed, he wrote 
home with hardly less enthusiasm 
than he had written of Goethe. 

But this was not to last long. In 
March, 1813, the Danish ministry 
decided finally to rest the. destiny of 
Denmark on Napoleon ; and Baudissin 
at once destroyed the archives of the 
embassy and returned to Copenhagen. 
Here he was well received by his 
employers ; the foreign minister com- 
mended him highly, and the king him- 
self, after admitting that every one 
had the right to his own opinions, 
expressed great satisfaction with his 
despatches. This done, Baudissin re- 
tired to his relations in the country, 
not knowing how soon the correctness 
of his judgment was to be vindicated. 
No later than in May of the same 
year he received suddenly a secret 
message from the foreign minister to 
repair at once to Copenhagen. Arriv- 
ing wearied by a long journey at 
express speed, he learnt from Rosen- 



krantz that he was to start at once 
with Minister Kaas on an extra- 
ordinary mission to Dresden, there to 
conclude an alliance with the Emperor 
Napoleon. This order came upon him 
like a thunderclap. In vain he 
adduced every argument against his 
employment in the matter, and earn- 
estly begged that the duty might be 
intrusted to another. The minister 
answered that it was the king's order ; 
the matter was already settled, and 
the appointment made by his majesty 
for particular reasons. In despair 
Baudissin sought the king himself, 
and said straight out that his convic- 
tions unfitted him for so important a 
mission. The king's reply was short : 
" You must go, sir, and I wish you a 
pleasant journey." Not yet convinced, 
Baudissin turned to his father, who, as 
he knew, shared his own opinion as to 
the policy that should be pursued. 
But the old diplomatist had been 
trained in a school of strict discipline : 
" You have made your protest and 
can do no more. You must go." 

So in another hour he started, 
crushed and tortured by the feeling 
that he was little else than a traitor 
to his country. A dull silent journey 
must that have been to Minister Kaas, 
with his young colleague fretting his 
heart out by his side at every stage 
more rebellious against the duty 
thrust upon him, and more conscious 
that such rebellion, after yielding so 
far, had forfeited all claim to be 
deemed honourable. Nevertheless, 
the determination that go to Dresden 
he would not grew stronger on him, so 
strong at last that even stratagem 
seemed justifiable to give it effect, 
and insincerity a virtue when 
used to uphold a righteous cause. 
Arrived at Holstein, Baudissin ob- 
tained leave to go for one night to 
the house of his friend, Count Fritz 
Keventlow, promising to rejoin his 
chief the next morning. Count Fritz 
received him with open arms, and 
full compassion for his misery; and 
thus encouraged, Baudissin finally 
made up his mind to let Minister 



A Translator of Shakespeart 



109 



Kaas perform his mission alone. But 
how was it to be done? for the 
Reventlows must not be implicated. 
All night long he pondered, and early 
in the morning sought a young doctor, 
one Franz Hegewisch, who, like him- 
self, was on a visit to the Heventlows. 
" "Would Herr Doctor," he asked, " be 
good enough to lay my arm on a 
couple of chairs and break it 
with a hammer 1 " Herr Doctor 
was, both politically and profession- 
ally, an enthusiast; he would break 
Herr Graf's arm for him in so good 
a cause with the greatest pleasure. 
"But stay," added the doctor, "before 
breaking an arm in a friend's house, 
should we not first ask his permis- 
sion?" Certainly we should; so first 
to Count Fritz and then to busi- 
ness. But Count Fritz had very 
different advice for his friend. " Re- 
sign your appointment on this mis- 
sion by all means, but do an honour- 
able duty like an honourable man, not 
like a refractory conscript. Your 
duty is to write from here to 
the king that you cannot obey his 
orders against your own convictions ; 
that therefore you repeat once more in 
writing the request you made by word 
of mouth, and are ready to take the 
consequences. Await the result here, 
and do not be afraid of getting me 
into trouble, for I shall be proud to 
suffer in such a cause." Such brave 
honest words fell gratefully on Baudis- 
sin's ears. He wrote forthwith to 
Minister Kaas and the king, and, 
with arm unbroken and mind un- 
burdened, cheerfully awaited the 
answer. In due time it came, offering 
a choice of two alternatives : one 
year's confinement in the fortress of 
Friedrichsort as second class state 
prisoner, or a judicial inquiry into the 
matter. A confidential note from 
Rosenkrantz recommended the first, 
and the first was accordingly chosen. 
So now to Friedrichsort, having first 
obtained privilege of books, a piano, 
and two hours' daily exercise under 
custody of a sentry on the ramparts. 
So Baudissin passed the summer of 



the great year, his imprisonment 
lightened by work at a translation of 
Dante, by his beloved music, and by 
occasional visits not only of relations 
but even of sympathisers from among 
the people. Not for a moment was 
he shaken in the opinion for which 
he suffered, and he determined that, 
unless things at Copenhagen were 
altered at the expiration of his 
year of imprisonment, he would sever 
himself from Denmark and enter 
the German army. His whole 
heart was with the German rising, 
and conflict against Napoleon with 
sword or pen he held to be a 
sacred duty. He now stood on high 
ground ; he had, it is true, sunk 
almost to the ridiculous, but he had 
risen again to the sublime : the oppo- 
sition of king, official, chief, and father 
had almost made him a malingerer ; 
the sympathy (in its most literal sense) 
of a friend raised him from that to a 
prisoner for conscience' sake. 

By October, 1813, however, Copen- 
hagen did change its opinions. Ten 
days after the battle of Leipsic arrived 
most opportunely the birthday of the 
queen, under cover of which redress 
of injustice was made to seein a favour, 
and Baudissin was set at liberty. 
Being pressed by his father he re- 
entered the diplomatic service, and 
was appointed secretary of legation 
at the head-quarters of the allies, 
with whom he entered Paris. Thence 
he went with his chief, Count Christian 
Bernsdorff, to the Congress of Vienna ; 
but even the excitement of operations 
in the field, and the preparations for 
the Congress could not reconcile his 
dislike for the Danish service. His 
former misdeeds were apparently not 
forgotten in Copenhagen, and he 
longed not unnaturally for quiet life 
at home. He left the service for the 
second and last time, now completely 
in disgrace with Danish royalty. 

In the autumn of 1814 he married 
his cousin, Countess Julia Bernsdorff, 
and shortly after he had brought his 
wife home his father died, leaving 
him the property of Rantzau. But 



no 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



even in retirement his quarrel with 
the court was destined to be embit- 
tered, for now came the first rising of 
German opposition to Denmark. Poli- 
tical feeling was strong among the 
landed proprietors of Schleswig Hoi- 
stein, and Baudissin took a leading 
part in their protests against the 
invasion of the laws of the Duchies, 
and the illegal exactions imposed by 
Denmark. But the time was not yet 
ripe: Danish reaction came, and the 
movement was suppressed and died 
away. So Baudissin, who had given 
up much of his time to political 
meetings and contributions to a new 
journal started by his party, now re- 
turned to his favourite work. He 
took Shakespeare in hand and trans- 
lated < Henry the Eighth/ the last of 
the historical plays that had been left 
untranslated by Schlegel. This, his 
first book, appeared in 1818. 

About this time he carried out a 
project which had been a favourite 
with him, as with most Germans, 
since his university days, namely, a 
visit to Italy. His immediate object 
was the restoration of his wife's 
health, but other circumstances pro- 
longed his stay beyond the time 
that he had intended. With his 
love for all that was beautiful in 
nature and art he could not be 
otherwise than happy there ; and 
especially in Rome where a circle of 
distinguished men, Thorwaldsen among 
them, gladly received him. But the 
resentment of the court at Copen- 
hagen was still alive, and in 1821 he 
received an anonymous warning that 
he had better not return home for 
the present. Certain letters, which 
he had written in the course of a 
friendly correspondence from Stock- 
holm, had been seized, and for 
some reason, probably on account of 
their German proclivities, had given 
offence in high quarters. Again, two 
years later, on his leaving Rome, he 
received a letter from Rosenkrantz, 
whom he had sounded on the subject, 
that he had still better keep out of 
the way; the seized letters, though 



free, as Baudissin knew, from indis- 
cretion, were not yet forgotten. Nor 
was it until ten years later, on the ac- 
cession of King Christian the Eighth, 
that his reconciliation with the court 
was effected. He was then invited to 
Copenhagen and asked to re-enter the 
Danish service indeed, there was 
some talk of making him director of 
the museums ; but it was then too 
late, for he had already fixed his home 
elsewhere. 

Finding on his departure from Italy 
that, though not hindered from paying 
a short visit to Rantzau, permanent re- 
sidence in Denmark was denied to him, 
he finally, after some wandering, de- 
cided to migrate to Dresden, whither 
he accordingly went with his wife in 
1827. The old connection of his 
family with the Saxon service no 
doubt influenced his choice, and he 
had the satisfaction of finding that 
the royal family, true to its here- 
ditary principles, was not unmindful 
of services rendered to its house in 
former generations. Nevertheless, it 
was no part of his plan to seek office 
anew, and he never appeared, except 
on formal occasions, at court, though 
in later years honoured by the friend- 
ship of two of the kings of Saxony. 
Ear more important to himself, and 
not to himself only, was the friendship 
he contracted with the poet, Ludwig 
Tieck, which was destined to turn his 
talents to the task best suited for 
them to the task of translation. 

Tieck was at this time burdened 
with the weight of an unfulfilled 
obligation. August Wilhelm Schlegel 
had, between the years 1797 and 1801, 
translated sixteen of Shakespeare's 
plays, including the historical plays 
(with the exception of t. ' Richard the 
Third ' and Henry the Eighth),' 
' Romeo and Juliet,' ' Midsummer 
Night's Dream,' ' Julius Caesar/ 
< Twelfth Night/ ' The Tempest/ < The 
Merchant of Venice/ ' Hamlet/ and 
' As You Like It.' To these he added 
'Richard the Third ' in 1810, and then 
declined to proceed with the work any 
further. The publishers had accordingly 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



Ill 



to turn to Tieck, who had frequently 
been consulted by Schlegel, and was 
otherwise best qualified for the duty. 
But on taking over the task in 1824, 
Tieck was no longer in a position 
to carry out his engagement ; not 
one single play did he translate ; and 
his daughter, Dorothea, a woman of 
remarkable character, prepared, by 
earnest study of English, to help him 
through it. During the years 1825 
and 1826, the plays translated by 
Schlegel were duly published, with 
occasional corrections by Tieck ; but 
throughout the four succeeding years 
no further volume appeared, for the 
very sufficient reason that Tieck fur- 
nished no manuscript. So matters 
stood when Baudissin arrived in 
Dresden ; and the advantage of willing 
help from one who had already proved 
his capacity by a translation of ' Henry 
the Eighth ' was too great to be over- 
looked. Accordingly, in the summer 
of 1829, Baudissin took the work 
upon himself. First giving his atten- 
tion to revising his former version of 
' Henry the Eighth,' he was able, in 
1830, to incorporate it with the last 
plays translated by Schlegel, and fur- 
nish another long-delayed volume. 
Then throwing all his strength into 
the work he succeeded in less than 
three years in completing the transla- 
tion of twelve more plays : * The 
Comedy of Errors,' 'Troilus and Cres- 
sida,' ' The Merry Wives of Windsor,' 
' Othello,' King Lear,' ' Taming of the 
Shrew,' ' Much Ado About Nothing,' 
' Love's Labours Lost,' * Titus An- 
dronicus,' 'Antony and Cleopatra,' 
' Measure for Measure,' and ' All's 
Well that Ends Well ' ; whereof the 
first five were finished in the course 
of the single year 1831. Dorothea 
worked with him industriously, and 
to her are ascribed the remaining 
six plays : ' Two Gentlemen of Yerona,' 
' Coriolanus,' Winter's Tale,' ' Timon,' 
' Cymbeline,' and ' Macbeth.' How, far 
she was aided by the others is a 
doubtful question, which nothing but 
an examination of her manuscript 
can solve. There are in Baudissin' s 



manuscript some different renderings 
of passages translated by her, and 
some pages where the lines are 
marked alternately with D and /, as 
though the two had amused them- 
selves by such alternate work. One 
thing, however, is certain that Doro- 
thea relied in the course of her trans- 
lation more on her fellow-labourer 
than on her father. She, like Bau- 
dissin, worked with extraordinary 
diligence, and zeal in the common 
cause knit a strong bond of friendship 
between them. Nevertheless, while 
honouring her energy and undoubted 
talent, Baudissin was sometimes not 
wholly satisfied either with the lan- 
guage or the rhythm of her transla- 
tions. 

So the great work was finally ac- 
complished and published in a com- 
plete form, whereof Tieck, after a 
few words of thanks to his coad- 
jutors, announced himself to be sole 
editor and finisher. The claim to 
this honour, so casually made, was 
never questioned by Baudissin, but 
has, nevertheless, not been allowed 
latterly to pass unchallenged. The 
copies made for the press were 
taken from Baudissin' s manuscript, 
which include a mass of corrections 
in his hand. Further, it appears from 
his diary that he first finished his own 
translation, and then read it aloud to 
Tieck, who added notes to certain in- 
dividual lines which, when intended to 
clear up the sense of obscure passages, 
were not always looked upon by the 
translator as improvements. Tieck' s 
share in the business therefore, as 
Herr Freytag points out, can hardly 
be accounted more important than 
that of any literary friend to whose 
judgment such work might be sub- 
mitted; and it would seem that the 
notes supplied by him were inserted 
mainly as proofs of his own industry. 
The same method of proceeding was 
adopted when a revision became neces- 
sary in 1839 : Tieck gave an hour 
every day to the task, but Baudissin 
had prepared everything beforehand, 
and it was he who had the alterations 



112 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



and improvements ready for Tieck's 
" yea " or " nay." 

Nevertheless, Baudissin left all 
honour and fame arising from this 
great undertaking to Tieck, and made 
over his share of the profits to Doro- 
thea. Tieck, observes Herr Freytag, 
was an amiable man, but not over scru- 
pulous in literary matters, and his 
casual appropriation of another's labour 
was thoroughly characteristic. But 
Tieck's obligations to Baudissin were 
not ended yet. Over and above the 
plays usually ascribed to Shakespeare, 
he held that some ten more were 
from his hand. Of these he had al- 
ready translated, and published in his 
' Altenglisches Theater,' the following 
six : the older ' King John,' 'The Pinner 
of Wakefield,' the older ' King Lear,' 
' Pericles ' (now generally included), 
* Locrine,' and ' The Merry Devil of 
Edmonton.' He now left the transla- 
tion of the remaining four, namely, 
'Ed ward the Third,' 'Oldcastle,' 'Crom- 
well,' and 'The London Prodigal,' to 
Baudissin ; and in 1836 they appeared 
in a separate volume under the title 
'Four Plays of Shakespeare, trans- 
lated by Ludwig Tieck.' 

In later years Baudissin suffered 
not a little from new translators and 
cribics. Schlegel's literary fame for- 
bade any depreciation of his share of 
the work, but it became the fashion to 
criticise Baudissin' s pretty severely. 
No doubt both translations were sus- 
ceptible of improvement, the more so as 
in the course of years a closer study of 
Shakespeare by experts, both English 
and German, has cleared away many 
of the difficulties which beset the earlier 
translators. But Baudissin laboured 
under exceptional difficulties. He 
worked against time to save the 
honour of Tieck, whose engagements 
he had undertaken to make good. 
Hence not only was the labour ex- 
cessive, but the translations were 
swept into the press as fast as they 
were completed. Nevertheless, ob- 
serves Herr Freytag, if Schlegel shows 
in certain respects greater command of 
language and vigour of expression, 



his rival need not shrink from com- 
parison with him in the happy re- 
production of humour and epigram. 
Moreover, Baudissin frequently heard, 
with a quiet smile, laudatory com- 
ments on passages ascribed to others, 
but in reality his own work. Yet 
another trial awaited him concern- 
ing this translation. In 1867 a 
new and complete revision of the 
old version was made, and exe- 
cuted, it would seem, like our own 
revised version of the New Testament, 
in a somewhat narrow and pedantic 
spirit. Once again Baudissin' s name 
as the coadjutor of Tieck was omitted, 
and some young translators had the 
hardihood calmly to publish his text, 
with alterations that were not always 
improvements, as their own. This 
Baudissin bore, as usual, in silence. 
Schlegel had protested against Tieck's 
alterations in his text, and insisted on 
the restoration of the original; but 
Baudissin, though he knew that this 
translation was the pride of his life, 
was content to leave the credit thereof, 
as from the first, to others ; yet, while 
rejoicing in any real improvements, he 
could not but regret variations which 
altered without amending his own text. 
Tieck at least had the excuse that his 
friend from the first connived at the 
misappropriation of his labour; but 
others can plead no such defence. 

It may be asked whether Baudissin's 
behaviour to Tieck was not generous 
to a fault. To this Herr Freytag is 
able to reply, that Baudissin actually 
felt himself greatly beholden to the 
man who thus, without acknowledg- 
ment, used his talents for his own 
advantage. It must be remembered 
that being no longer in the diplomatic 
service, and forbidden moreover by 
royal displeasure to attend to his duties 
as a landowner,he had now no employ- 
ment for his indefatigable industry. 
We have seen how, even at Gottingen, 
the sense of unprofitableness weighed 
heavily on him ; and that sense 
would naturally be much increased 
after the taste of activity and re- 
sponsibility at Stockholm. He had 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



113 



already occupied his leisure with trans- 
lation for his own enjoyment, but till 
chance threw him with Tieck he had 
no idea that his genius could be turned, 
not only to the assistance of a friend, 
but also to the enjoyment of a nation ; 
and, without a thought for his own 
aggrandisement, he hailed the pros- 
pect with delight. Even now, notwith- 
standing Herr Frey tag's endeavour to 
secure justice for his friend, it would 
seem as if comparatively few, even in 
Germany, know or appreciate the 
share that Baudissin took in the trans- 
lation of Shakespeare. Dr. Kluge, in 
his ' History of German National Lite- 
rature/ does indeed set forth the fact 
that the nineteen plays which pass 
under Tieck' s name were but revised 
by him, and really translated by 
Baudissin and Dorothea. But in 
truth, where lesser names are mingled 
with greater in a work of this kind, 
they must surely be absorbed and 
forgotten in them. Pope's Homer is 
a familiar word enough; but the names 
of Fenton and Broome, who translated 
twelve books of the ' Odyssey ' for Pope, 
are forgotten. For this they have, 
perhaps, only themselves to thank, for, 
as Johnson remarks, readers of poetry 
have never been able to distinguish 
their work from Pope's ; and the same 
perhaps holds good of Baudissin in 
relation to Tieck. But it is to be 
noticed that, whereas Tieck made no 
word of acknowledgment to his part- 
ner, Pope, on the other hand, took 
particular care to immortalise Broome 
in the ' Dunciad ' (marking " very dis- 
tinctly " in a note the payment 
made to him for his help), and Broome 
and Fenton alike in the oft-quoted 
letter on Fenton's death. 

Shakespeare completed for others, 
Baudissin now began to work for him- 
self. He had determined to translate 
for his own use all that were to be 
found of the works of Shakespeare's 
dramatic contemporaries ; and a pub- 
lisher having expressed his readiness 
to make the translation public, there 
appeared, this time in his own name, 
two volumes entitled * Ben Jonson and 

No. 314. VOL. LIII. 



his School' (1836), containing the fol- 
lowing plays : ' The Alchemist ' and 
* The Devil is an Ass ' of Ben Jonson j 
'The Spanish Curate' and 'The Elder 
Brother ' of Fletcher ; ' The Fatal 
Dowry ' of Massinger and Field ' and 
' The Duke of Milan/ ' A New Way 
to Pay Old Debts/ and 'The City 
Madam/ of Massinger. For this 
work he received for the first time 
money earned by his pen, which 
greatly delighted him. His skill is 
fully displayed therein, not only by 
the masterly way in which he has over- 
come the many difficulties of language 
and of obscure references to contem- 
porary events, but also by the distinc- 
tion which he has maintained between 
the style and language of the different 
poets. And his triumph was the 
greater, inasmuch as Schlegel had de- 
clared a translation of Ben Jonson 
and the dramatists of his school to 
be impracticable. But very shortly 
after, the death of his wife destroyed 
all pride and pleasure in his work, 
and for the next few years prevented 
any new undertaking. He sought re- 
lief in a long journey through Greece, 
and in 1840, having married again, 
he began his literary labours anew. 

He had at various times made care- 
ful study of the language of the Ger- 
man poetry of the Middle Ages (mittel 
hoch deutsch), and in 1845 and 1848 he 
published translations into modern 
German of two old chivalric poems, the 
' Iwein' of Hartmann von Aue, and the 
'Wigalois ' of Wirnt von Gravenberg. 
The peculiar difficulty of such a trans- 
lation lies in the different signification 
attached to the same word in the two 
dialects, and this he was able success- 
fully to conquer. Then the work was 
again interrupted by the tumults of 
the year 1848. Holstein rose against 
the Danish headship, and Baudissin, 
whom an anticipation of this struggle 
had severed from Denmark thirty 
years before, took up the cause with 
warmth. His brother Otto was one 
of the leaders of the armed revolt, and 
he himself could spare no time from 
political correspondence and journalism 



114 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



for his beloved music and the more im- 
portant work which was his chiefest 
delight. The times were full of anxiety 
for him, and called for great sacri- 
fices ; but none the less were they of 
true gain and advantage. Hitherto 
inclined to view every democratic 
movement with distrust, he read the 
lesson aright, and became henceforth 
a staunch and enlightened Liberal. 

It was not until the year 1857 that 
he betook himself again to his transla- 
tions, when he published his first and 
only work in prose, * The Biographical 
Essays of Don Manuel Josef Quintana, 
rendered from the Spanish.' This 
done, after first translating Ponsard's 
' L'Honneur et 1' Argent/ in order to 
test his powers, he began in 1865 the 
translation of Moliere. It was at first 
his intention to publish one volume 
only of selected plays, but even in his 
seventy-fifth year delight in the work 
carried him away, and by 1867 he was 
ready with his second great gift to the 
German theatre a complete transla- 
tion of Moliere. Of this it is 
sufficient to say that it is the standard 
text of the German stage ; but it is 
curious to note that some German 
critics have found fault with it 
on the ground that the iambic of 
the German drama is employed 
throughout instead of the alexan- 
drines of the original. The result that 
would follow from the admission of 
the principle implied in this criticism 
may easily be seen ; but the criticism 
is especially remarkable as coming 
from a people which has but compara- 
tively recently freed itself from the 
bondage of French literary canons, and 
has not yet ceased to rejoice in its free- 
dom. In any case there can be little 
doubt that the German actors are 
thankful for being spared the necessity 
of declaiming in a metre utterly unsuit- 
able to the genius of the German 
language. 

Moliere thus happily completed, 
Baudissin went on next to the ' Pro- 
verbes Dramatiques ' of Leclerq, pub- 
lishing in 1875 two volumes ' Dra- 
matische Sprichworter ' von Carmontel 



und Th. Leclerq. From this he 
passed on with enthusiasm to the 
translation of three plays by Francois 
Coppee an enthusiasm increased by 
personal knowledge of the French 
poet who had spent some time 
with him as his guest at Rantzau. 
Baudissin' s last printed work was a 
single volume, ' Italienisches Theater/ 
containing translations of plays' by 
Gozzi, Goldoni, Giraud, and del Testa. 
These had been his delight in youth, 
and now at the age of eighty-eight 
he was able not only still to enjoy 
them himself, but to give others a 
share in his enjoyment. 

Thus the years passed away in quiet 
earnest work ; the summers spent at 
Rantzau, the winters at Dresden. Nor 
did literary labours make him forgetful 
of his duties to his tenants in Holstein. 
Towards them and his other depen- 
dents his relation was almost patri- 
archal ; and though in times of trouble 
and excitement (whereof so long a life 
could not but have its share) he did 
not escape experience of ingratitude, 
yet in the main his friendliness met 
with its due reward of thankfulness 
and love. Once, in a bad season, he 
refused to take from a farmer his full 
rent, but the latter would not hear of 
such a thing. " A bargain is a bar- 
gain," he said, and paid in full. 
Another farmer lost by fire a large 
barn, well stored, and, the fire being 
no fault of his, the loss (over one 
thousand pounds), which was only 
partially covered by insurance, fell 
on the landlord. One day this 
farmer came to Baudissin, and said, 
" This won't do, Herr Graf ; perhaps 
the hay was a bit damp. I must 
pay my half of the loss, for I can- 
not rest till I do." Yet another 
tenant, on the renewal of his lease, 
made the suggestion (usually left to 
landlords) that, as times were improved, 
his rent should be raised ; and one old 
peasant wrote to Dresden and begged 
the Herr Graf to come a little earlier 
than usual to Rantzau, as he was 
going to celebrate his golden wedding. 
Whereupon, needless to say, Baudissin 



A Translator of Shakespeare. 



115 



altered his plans on purpose to be 
present. 

Such being the terms on which he 
lived with those inferior to him in 
station, it is not difficult to conceive 
the respect and affection which 
his friends in Dresden had for him. 
It was natural that a younger 
generation should be attracted to 
one who had lived among the giants 
of old time ; who had listened to 
Schiller and Goethe, and been the 
friend of August Schlegel and Madame 
de Stael ; who had met the fugitives 
from Jena, and lived to see the 
triumph of Sedan; who had entered 
Paris with the allies in 1814, and 
hailed the news of the German entry 
in 1871 ; who when first he set out for 
Dresden, knew it as the head-quarters 
of the first Napoleon, and saw it at 
last, after Koniggratz and Sedan, the 
capital of a province in a united 
German Empire. Yet there was 
greater attraction than this in the 
extraordinary amiability and modesty 
of the man. Highly cultivated, gifted 
with keen perception of artistic and 
scientific excellence, he could be appre- 
ciative without being patronising ; and 
though he shrank from all that was 
base and wrong, he had the widest 
sympathy for human failing and 
human misfortune. He was not one 
of those who thought that each 
generation was inferior to that which 
preceded it ; but at the age of seventy 
or eighty years, his mind unfettered 
and unexhausted by the thought and 
action of an earlier time, he watched 
the creation and development of new 



things with as lively an interest as 
at twenty. His conversion to Lib- 
eralism in politics has already been 
noticed, and in respect of art and 
literature his feelings were the same. 
No one more readily recognised the 
merit of rising young poets or painters, 
with whom he sympathised, as one of 
their own age, in the struggle for suc- 
cess ; and this without losing one jot 
of his love for the masterpieces of the 
past. He could wander through the 
Dresden Gallery for the hundredth 
time with ever-increasing delight, and 
in the very last year of his life a 
quartette of Mozart's exercised the 
same entrancing influence as of old. 

So this gentle life, so stormily 
begun, drew peacefully to its close. 
Almost to the last his health, his 
faculties, his capacity for enjoyment, 
his power of work, nay, his very hand- 
writing, remained unshaken and un- 
changed. Even at the last, the 
growing infirmities of age could not 
impair his cheerfulness and amenity. 
Only a few weeks before his death, his 
eyesight beginning to fail, he sought 
for one well acquainted with French 
and English through whose help he 
might continue the work in which he 
delighted ; but a choice was hardly 
made when his work was closed for 
ever by death. 

He died on the fourth of April, 
1878, leaving a name which will ever 
hold an honourable place among the 
greatest of those who have laboured 
to bring home the poetry of foreign 
nations to the great German people. 



116 



CHURCH AUTHORITY: ITS MEANING AND VALUE. 1 



LET us try and clear the ground a 
little. We will therefore first ask : 
" The authority of the Church on what 
subjects?" 

Setting aside exploded ideas, such 
as the authority of the Church to 
enforce discipline or moral laws on 
the world, these subjects may be 
divided, as a first approximation, into 
three classes. 

There may (or may not) be an 
authority which deals with (1) dis- 
puted questions relating to the history 
of the Bible and of Christianity : for 
instance, the criticism and historical 
veracity of the Bible \ the history of 
the canon; the study of the remains 
of Christian antiquity ; in a word, the 
nature of the materials for the history 
of our religion. 

(2) Disputed questions relating to 
what we may call the more or less 
formulated doctrines of Christianity, 
inferred from, rather than explicitly 
stated in, the Bible. 

(3) All that relates to Church go- 
vernment and discipline, and ritual 
and finance. 

We will briefly refer to these divi- 
sions as criticism, theology, business. 
It is plain that these subjects are so 
different that it is mere confusion of 
thought to class them together. 

Next, "What do we mean by 
authority ? " Here there is an obvious 
ambiguity. 

There is (1) the preponderant weight 
we assign to the learning and judg- 
ment of men whose veracity and 
impartiality we trust. We speak of 
the authority of a scholar like Light- 
foot. It is not, however, an authority 
in the sense that it demands obedi- 

1 A paper read at a clerical meeting in 
Bristol, July 6, 1885, as a basis for discussion. 



ence ; it only demands respect and 
consideration. 

There is (2) another sort of autho- 
rity. There are men with an un- 
rivalled genius for holiness ; men 
refined by prayer and unflinching 
devotion to duty, and therefore gifted 
with a singular delicacy of touch and 
insight, with a true inspiration of 
God's Holy Spirit. We feel in them 
our best selves : we feel that they are 
nearer to God than we are : their 
words have an authority. Still, this 
is not an authority which commands 
obedience : it silently appeals for 
respect and love. It is compatible 
with error. 

There is (3) yet another authority 
which does command obedience, which 
has the power of enforcing itself. The 
Church, acting through its defined 
powers, has authority. The Bishop 
may suspend for defined offences in 
virtue of his " authority." 

Once more, these kinds of authority 
are so different that they can only 
be taken together by confusion of 
thought. 

Let us call them the authority of 
learning, of holiness, and of law. 

Happily, it is not necessary to define 
what we mean by the Church for the 
purposes of the present essay. One 
meaning we can point out in passing. 
The Church of England, " as by law 
established," has unquestioned autho- 
rity in certain matters of discipline 
and ritual. The disciplinary functions 
of Church Courts and Bishops are not 
wholly suspended. The Church has the 
authority of law in matters of disci- 
pline. 

So far is easy. The more difficult 
question is, " Has the Church, what- 
ever the Church is, an authority of 



Church Authority : its Meaning and Value. 



117 



learning to decide matters of criticism ; 
or of holiness and inspiration to pro- 
nounce authoritatively in matters of 
doctrine or of conduct ? " 

Do not let us confuse these two 
the authorities of learning in criticism, 
and of holiness or insjnration in theo- 
logy or conduct. 

There are many questions before 
the world which are purely matters 
of learning. When was the Book of 
Deuteronomy written 1 By what route 
did Israel come out of Egypt ? What 
is the origin of the Gospels'? What 
was the relation of the agape and the 
Eucharist? What is the value of 
Codex B 1 These, and an infinite 
number of such questions, are ques- 
tions of learning and criticism ; they 
are questions as to matters of fact ; 
they are not questions of religion or 
conduct. 

Now, the question is an intelligible 
one, and admits of a positive answer : 
" Has the Church, in any sense of the 
word, authority to decide these ques- 
tions ? Is it possible that matters of 
fact can be decided by authority?" 
Now, it is a matter of fact, one way 
or the other, whether, for example, the 
Masoretic text of Samuel is as old as 
the LXX. ; whether an axehead ever 
floated on water ; and whether St. 
Paul wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. 
Could any past consensus of opinion 
on these points decide them ? Might 
it not have been wrong? These are 
as much matters of fact as whether 
the earth is round or flat. Let us 
never forget that there was a time 
when it was pronounced to be " a 
shame in a Christian man even so 
much as to mention the antipodes." 
St. Ambrose and St. Basil were, I 
believe, exceptions among the fathers 
in the liberality of their views on this 
point. They were brave enough to 
defy public opinion, and to declare 
that a correct belief in the antipodes 
was not necessary to salvation. Men 
made the mistake then, which con- 
fused thinkers make now, of asserting 
on authority about matters of fact. 



The Copernican theory, the Darwinian 
theory, the Straussian theory, most of 
our disputed questions, are questions 
as to matters of fact. Now, the result 
of the last four hundred years of growth 
of the human mind is that we now at 
last know that matters of fact are not 
decided by authority. They are settled 
by evidence, and by reason. Can this 
be seriously disputed ? The scientific 
mind is unable to conceive how a 
question as to a matter of fact can be 
settled by authority. 

The Church, therefore, has no autho- 
rity to decide questions of learning 
and criticism, or matters of fact. 

Now remains the other less explored 
region into which we must penetrate. 
What do we mean by saying that " the 
Church hath authority in controversies 
of faith " ? Here we seem to be on 
solid ground, for this is one of the 
Thirty-nine Articles. 

No doubt most of my hearers know 
the history of these famous words, as 
given by Bishop Browne. I suppose 
we owe them to no less profound a 
theologian than Queen Elizabeth 
herself. She is said to have refused 
to sign the articles as drafted and 
signed by the two Houses of Convo- 
cation until these words were added. 
Convocation seems to have submitted 
to her will, and accepted the authority 
for the Church. Some may think it 
is a slightly Erastian origin for the 
power claimed ; others may think it 
defines those powers. But we will not 
look a gift-horse in the mouth. 

The words, however, are not free 
from ambiguities. There is not only 
the plain difference between the fides 
quce creditur and the fides qua creditur ; 
but even when we agree that it is the 
first of these that is intended, an 
ambiguity remains. 

The words may mean, " There is a 
perennial association of men, in legiti- 
mate possession of the property be- 
queathed to the Church, charged with 
the duty of teaching and preaching 
God's Word, and of administering the 
Sacraments and other Christian rites. 



118 



Church Authority : its Meaning and Value. 



This association has, under certain 
limitations, the power of deciding from 
time to time on the qualifications for 
membership. These qualifications con- 
sist in the profession of certain beliefs, 
and the conformity to certain customs. 
This association or Church can define 
those beliefs and prescribe those 
customs subject to the limitation that 
nothing shall be contrary to God's 
Word written." 

This is one meaning. The Church 
can declare, not that this or that is 
true, but that to believe this or that, 
to act thus or thus, is the condition of 
membership, and of enjoying the 
emoluments and immunities it brings, 
or professes to bring. 

We will call this authority declara- 
tory of t/ie terms of membership. The 
Church has this authority. 

Now this is probably what Elizabeth 
meant, and what Convocation accepted, 
if they did accept this clause ; but it 
is not the sense in which we ordinarily 
now quote the words. We think of a 
Church older than the Thirty-nine 
Articles ; and we mean by its authority 
a power resident somewhere, not to 
declare conditions of membership, but 
to ascertain and declare theological 
truth. This is a totally different 
thing. 

The real question then at last is 
this. We believe I suppose we all 
believe that there is disseminated 
among all individuals, and all branches 
of the Church of Christ, some illumi- 
nation in spiritual truth, as the result 
of the influence on us of the Holy 
Spirit. At any rate, this is my firm 
conviction. I have no belief more 
fundamental than that God guides the 
reason and spirit of His faithful ser- 
vants. 

Does there, then, exist did there 
ever exist any means for so focussing 
this illumination as to produce a per- 
fect light ? If any method existed for 
collecting, if I may use the expression, 
the sparks of the Holy Spirit in the 
hearts of all Christians, till they com- 
bined into a perfect and heavenly 



flame ; any celestial chemistry which 
should separate the fragments of the 
divine in us from the masses of the 
earthly, the result would be an 
" authority " for ascertaining and de- 
claring spiritual truth. 

The ages have made several answers 
to this question. They have frequently 
said that (Ecumenical Councils were 
such a focussing, such a chemistry. 
They have said that it was possible 
once before the great schism, but is 
impossible now. 

If any one thinks that it was pos- 
sible once, and is impossible now, let 
him read Church History in some 
detail ; let him read the Acts of the 
Council of Chalcedon. 

The truth is, that such a process is 
impossible. There exists no such 
method of focussing, no such celestial 
chemistry. We cannot separate the 
human from the divine in man. 

It is the old fallacy. On a priori 
grounds, men think that God must 
govern the world and the Church as 
they themselves would govern it, by 
giving them an infallible Pope, a 
verbally inspired Bible, an unerring 
voice of the Church. We had better 
study what is, instead of deciding 
what must and ought to be. There 
are spots on the sun, though it was 
declared to be impossible there should 
be : the earth is round : the earth does 
move. When a man argues that so 
and so must be the case that it stands 
to reason it must be the case it 
always means that he averts his eyes 
from facts. He prefers to tell us 
what he thinks God ought to do. I 
prefer patiently to try and find out 
what God has done and is doing. This 
is the method of science, and is adopted 
by those who desire, above all things, 
to see things as they are. I think it 
is the reverent method. 

But perhaps some one will say, there 
is an authority ; but it resides not in 
Pope, nor Councils, nor letter of the 
Bible : it resides in the consensus of 
Catholic antiquity ; and he will quote 
the Yincentian rule. This is equally 



Church Authority: its Meaning and Value. 



119 



illusory, and specially so if applied 
only to the past. I do not deny, as 
will be seen presently, the enormous 
moral weight of widespread and long- 
lasting agreement, but that such moral 
weight is ejusdem generis with a final 
authority from which there is no ap- 
peal, this I deny. Not only did no 
such consensus ever exist ; not only, if 
it did exist, would it fail to indicate 
more than the opinion that prevailed 
at the time ; not only would all sorts 
of errors and crimes find in the Yin- 
centian rule a strong support ; but it 
is fundamentally opposed to the charter 
of the Church. That charter is, that 
the Church is alive, a living body 
with Christ as its head, and subject 
to the laws of life and growth. The 
Yincentian rule, if limited to the past, 
unintentionally strangles that life. It 
says, You shall not be led into all 
truth ; you shall not advance beyond 
such and such a century. Now, to 
one who, like myself, believes that the 
Holy Spirit is training and guiding 
and shining on the whole Church of 
Christ, that the whole world of man is 
growing and shall grow to the stature 
of the fulness of Christ, that the very 
best of us has but imperfectly grasped 
the meaning of Christ's words and 
life, and that the Spirit of God will 
make that life and those words better 
understood to one who holds this 
faith, any such notions as that growth 
is to be strangled by an imaginary 
consensus of the past, the living heart 
stopped by the dead hand, are mon- 
strous, and a falsehood to be repudiated 
with all his might. 

But a belief widely held always has 
some truth in it. What is the truth 
in this] 

The truth is that there exists a dif- 
fused and daily growing illumination 
in a Christian society ; on the whole, 
the verdict of a Christian community 
is not far wrong what they bind or 
loose on earth, is bound or loosed in 
heaven. 

These verdicts are not only on ques- 
tions of right and wrong. On these 



the Christian conscience, give it time 
enough, will pronounce right. It has 
pronounced against impurity, against 
slavery, against religious persecution ; 
it is slowly making up its mind on 
other subjects. There is a slowly 
working divine chemistry which finally 
crystallises out the truth. 

But even on questions of criticism 
and doctrine, within certain limits, 
securus judicat orbis. The formation 
of the Canon that is, the selection 
from the fragments of early Christian 
writings of such as should be deemed 
Canonical was such a popular judg- 
ment. The vox populi sifted the 
literature; the vox concilii did but 
confirm the verdict of the people. The 
real authority was the diffused voice 
of Christian men. Our Prayer Book 
is similarly the result of the verdict of 
a later Christendom : it is the concen- 
trated essence of the devotion and the 
inspiration of fifteen Christian cen- 
turies. 

The moral authority of an approxi- 
mate consensus in the past is a real and 
great thing : it resides in the fact of 
some opinion having prevailed in the 
struggle. It was the fittest for the 
human mind then ; it does not follow 
that it is the fittest now. The hetero- 
doxy of one age sometimes becomes the 
orthodoxy of another. It may have been 
but the schoolmaster to bring men to 
Christ. But the proved fitness of any 
opinion in the past, or in another level 
of thought in the present, will make us 
hesitate long before we abandon it, 
still longer before we denounce it. We 
can only abandon it for a wider appli- 
cation of the Yincentian rule, when, 
as in the phrase sine dubio in ceternum 
peribunt, it conflicts with the moral 
sense of Christendom. We can only 
denounce it when it poisons as well as 
weakens spiritual life. 

I can now briefly sum up : 
Authority, in the sense of power to 
transact business, is possessed by every 
Church. 

Authority, in the sense of declar- 
ing the tenets and other conditions of 



120 



Church Authority : its Meaning and Value. 



is possessed by every 
Church. 

Autliority to decide questions of learn- 
ing or of fact in the past, there is none 
anywhere ; and further it may be 
added that such matters of fact and 
of learning are not and cannot be 
religion, though for a time men may 
think they are. 

Authority to ascertain dogma that 
is, to give a divinely inspired and final 
decision on a speculative question, not 
as a condition of membership, but as an 
absolute truth there is none, and has 
been none. The diffused illumination 
of the Christian world canDot be so 
focussed. The growth of pious thought 
cannot be anticipated. But there is a 
power resident in the Christian world 



as a whole to decide right at last. 
Misconceptions of God do not last for 
ever. 

Authority on questions of right and 
wrong absolute there is none, ap- 
proximate there is, in the growing 
consensus of the total Christian society, 
and especially of those who have the 
gift of holiness and the graces of the 
Spirit. Tnis absolutely adds to the 
known ethical and spiritual truths of 
the world. 

Such seem to me to be the facts. 
Thus God sees fit to educate His 
Church. It is vain to wish it were 
otherwise, to dream that it is other- 
wise. We must look at the facts. 

J. M. WILSON. 



121 



A WALK IN THE FAROES. 



" ME not much Engelsk. Money this, 
and grub this. Other thing, so ! " 

I had engaged a man to guide me 
over the hills to the old seat of eccle- 
siastical rule in the Faroe Islands, 
and the above speech was in answer 
to my inquiry about his linguistic 
capacity. He was a little man with 
much eyebrow, a short beard that 
curled in the front as decidedly as a 
fish-hook, and a nose somewhat sus- 
piciously rubicund. On the strength 
of his engagement by "the English- 
man " as walking companion for a 
certain number of hours, he had 
assumed a dignity of manner that 
made him look ridiculously con- 
ceited, and had, moreover, put on 
his best clothes, and washed himself 
at an unusual hour of the day. 
They had told me that his English 
was quite phenomenally good, and that 
I should be as much at home with him 
as with my own brother. But, for 
the former, I found he had little more 
vocabulary than the words above-men- 
tioned, which he pronounced diaboli- 
cally : while, for the rest, I felt not 
very fraternally towards him at first 
sight. He illustrated his utterance by 
producing a five-pre copper coin ; by 
opening his mouth and pointing down 
his throat with one of his thumbs ; and 
by jerking his head like one habituated 
to dram-drinking. Still, I had no 
right to think evil of my friend, 
Olaus Jackson, merely because he 
seemed to have bibulous propensities ; 
and, without more delay than was ex- 
acted by the need to take a ceremo- 
nious farewell of some Thorshavn ac- 
quaintance who thought my projected 
walk only another proof that all Eng- 
lishmen were conundrums, Olaus and 
I set forth, he leading, with his head 
very high, and holding his alpenstock 
as gracefully as if he had been born a 
beadle instead of a Faroe man. 



A word about my man's dress, 
which was the characteristic Faroe 
costume. On his head (to begin at 
the top) he wore a red and black 
striped turban, about a foot in height, 
which fell to his left ear. His body 
was swathed in a copious brown wool- 
len tunic, too large for him, yet padded 
with underclothing so as to make him 
look almost formidably robust. Faroe 
pantaloons of blue cloth covered his 
legs to the knees, where they were at- 
tached by four or five gay gilt buttons. 
His calves were shown in all their 
symmetry by the brown hose which 
ended in his moccasins of untanned 
cowskin tied round the ankles by 
strings of white wool. Lastly, to 
protect his precious throat, Olaus wore 
a woollen scarf of red, green and 
blue, which, having circumvented that 
part- of him an indefinite number of 
times, stuffed the rest of its long 
length within his tunic, where it 
helped to swell the magnitude of his 
chest. 

Truly, he was a majestic object com- 
pared with those others of his com- 
patriots who, not being so fortunate as 
to know English, had no chance of such 
an engagement as his, and were there- 
fore compelled to crawl along the rugged 
track out of the town, in their dirtiest 
rags, bent double by the loads of peat 
upon their backs. But Olaus was 
too wise in his generation to risk 
conversation with me in the presence 
of his neighbours ; he strutted ahead, 
and quickened his pace whenever I 
came within six feet of him. 

Thus we proceeded through Thors- 
havn, an attraction for all eyes. As 
we climbed the rude rock stairs, 
stained black with the ooze of much 
drainage matter, little children with 
bronzed cheeks, flaxen hair and 
Saxon blue eyes clasped each other's 
hands, and stood aside on the tips of 



122 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



their wooden sabots, while they whis- 
pered among themselves " Engdsk- 
mandf" Housewives threw their 
brooms into a corner, or left the rolls 
of fygbrtid to grill by themselves, and 
flew to the window or door to see 
us pass ; the word had gone along the 
street that we were coming half a mi- 
nute ago. One old crone, whose ninety 
years were opposed to hurry, but not 
to the curious instincts of her nature, 
had herself supported to the glass, be- 
hind which her yellow face, with its 
sunken black eyes, gleamed at me like 
something spectral, not human. Arti- 
sans, straddled across the skeleton 
beams of a house half built, stopped 
their hammering and stared, until I 
was near enough for a display of cour- 
tesy ; then off came their caps, and a 
civil " God dag " whispered from the 
roof. Ladies, clattering down to the 
stream, laden to their noses with 
clothes for the wash, dropped their 
burdens to the ground and sat upon 
them, that they might see us at their 
ease, and, with the freedom of their 
sex, commented glibly on my pecu- 
liarities, and audibly. School-boys 
conning their lessons as they trotted 
to the royal school, shut their books 
and gaped, until we had passed, 
when they shouted. In brief, we had 
the honour of causing a five-minutes' 
ferment of excitement in those parts of 
Thorshavn which we traversed. No 
English gentleman had visited the 
place for a couple of years, and I 
was a recent arrival. Conspicuousness 
is odious to a man of sensibility and 
sense ; I was therefore delighted when 
the last " God dag " was exchanged, 
the last house of the town was left 
behind, and there was nothing more 
animate in front than Olaus and the 
brown mountain tops, their sides 
strewn chaotically with countless 
white boulders, among which the 
white sheep browsed almost unper- 
ceived. As for Olaus, no sooner were 
we out of the town than he seemed to 
shrink ; and in a little while he had 
sobered his pace until he was abreast 
with me. Then, with a squint of hu- 



mility, as if in apology for his late 
exhibition of pride, he informed me, in 
an irregular mosaic of three languages, 
that he was not very well, but that he 
hoped to get something to eat at the 
conclusion of our walk. . 

The weather at the outset was not 
bad for Faroe. There was cloud on 
the hills, but the blue spaces aloft, and 
their blue counterparts on the sea to 
our left, were augury of good. Naalsoe 
Island, four miles away, lying straight 
some seven or eight miles, and rising 
to a peak of twelve or thirteen hundred 
feet, was clearly defined, and the white 
church of its one town shone like a 
snowball in the distance. The sea 
too was quiet, though breathed over 
by a north-easterly wind just strong 
enough to admonish the clouds on the 
hills that they had better go up higher. 
But, ere we had walked a mile along 
the road, which runs out from the town 
perhaps twice as far, a sudden change 
came about. The wind shifted to the 
rainy quarter, to the south-west. In 
ten minutes Naalsoe disappeared from 
sight. The fog on the hills descended 
and surrounded us. And Olaus and I 
were soon treading dismally over wet 
bogs, through the soaked and soaking 
heather, and rained on by the clouds 
into whose very hearts we were 
methodically attempting to climb. 
Nowhere is weather more fickle than 
in the Faroes. And it is not every one 
who can console himself, in the midst 
of a Faroe fog, with the reflection that 
it is a salubrious if unwelcome visita- 
tion. 

Not a soul lives between Thorshavn 
and Kirkeboe, though the distance is 
some six English miles. In the first 
place it is an inland route, and there 
is no inland habitation throughout the 
Faroes. All the people are born, as it 
were, face to face with the sea. And 
the nature of the country, sown as it 
is almost everywhere with innumer- 
able boulders, offers little inducement 
to farmers. If the sheep and small 
horses, which are turned loose here- 
abouts to take care of themselves, can 
find herbage enough to sustain them, 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



123 



this is as much as can be expected from 
the interior. While, secondly, our 
track was mountainous from begin- 
ning to end. From one terrace of 
shingle and hard rock the uniformity 
of which was broken by occasional 
tufts of vivid green, whence clear 
spring water gushed towards the 
valleys we passed to another similar 
terrace, and thence across miniature 
desert plateaux of inexpressible bleak- 
ness and aridity; until we had gone 
from the east of the island to the west, 
and could see, far down, when the fog 
lifted, the dull, lead-coloured sea be- 
tween Stromo and the islets of Hestoe 
and Kolter. A little later, and the 
black rocks of these isles were visible ; 
their bases rose straight from the 
water, but their summits, hidden in 
the clouds, were as high as the imagi- 
nation pleased to make them. 

It was an all but soundless walk. 
True, Olaus, thanks to his cold, was 
frequently obliged to clear his throat, 
and he made plenty of noise in the 
exertion. But the echoes of his efforts, 
exaggerated and bandied from rock to 
rock, soon died away, and left the still- 
ness yet more still. Now and again an 
oyster-catcher would rise with a scream, 
and his scarlet and white plumage 
flash brightly through the dim atmo- 
sphere about us. But no other birds 
were about that day. The fog seemed to 
have sent all living things to sleep, save 
only Olaus and myself. Yet, though the 
air was about half as thick as that of 
London in November, there was a 
subtle element of exhilaration about 
it which made the walk quite enjoy- 
able and enlivening. 1 chanced to 
have my small five-chambered revolver 
with me a most useless weapon in Faroe 
by the by, where murder is an unknown 
term. This I was tempted suddenly to 
fire, after a rather long spell of complete 
silence. The next moment Olaus was 
by my side, clutching at the thing, and 
peering open-mouthed down its barrel, 
careless of the fact that one of his 
fingers in his excitement was pressing 
the trigger of the yet loaded pistol ; 
and it was only after much trouble 



that I persuaded him to let me put him 
out of reach of danger. 

"Had I brought it to shoot him 
with?" Olaus inquired, in heated 
Danish, his red nose fiery with per- 
turbation and anxiety. And I could 
only soothe him into complete tran- 
quillity by surrendering the revolver 
to him and bidding him use it himself 
at anything he pleased, except myself. 
But henceforward, until we were close 
to the green patch of cultivated ground 
between the perpendicular rocks of the 
mainland and the sea itself, which 
represented the old church town of 
Kirkeboe, I was questioned about 
"the little gun," whose fellow he had 
never yet seen; its cost, its maker, 
the number of men I had killed with 
it, the degree of its fatality, my object 
in bringing it to Faroe, &c. The re- 
port seemed to have a most stimulating 
effect upon the man's intellect, for, in 
quaint enough Danish, he began to tell 
a tale about the only man of his ac- 
quaintance who had ever meditated a 
deed of violence. 

"There was one man, and he was 
one very angry man, and he get in a 
passion one day and swear he kill 
somebody. He go to his home, and 
first thing he see is his woman at 
the quern she a meek thing with no 
spirit ; and he run at her, and without 
one word he knock her down flat, and 
she lie without moving, her nose up- 
standing to the roof. Then this one 
man shocked with himself, to think 
how near he was to being a slayer of 
his wife. No man has yet killed his 
wife in Faroe, and he so near being 
the first ! And all his anger go out of 
him like the wind from a bladder when 
you untie the string. And he bethink 
himself how to keep himself from being 
so wicked. He run to the cupboard 
and pour brandy down his woman's 
throat. And then when, after a time, 
she breathe freely and open an eye, 
this one man run off, and down to the 
rocks, and throw himself, all in one 
instant, into the sea, where he drown. 
He not kill his woman after that." 
Master Olaus' tale may stand on the 



124 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



merits of its moral ; for its truth I do 
not vouch. 

From the higher rocks, still wrapped 
in dark fog, we could see Kirkeboe 
below in the bright sunshine. It was 
like looking at a pretty face from 
under the photographer's cloth. 
Soon we reached the first parallelo- 
gram of rye within the parish. Then 
a dog began to bark from a neigh- 
bouring strip of grass meadow. A 
second dog, nearer the knot of build- 
ings, took up the cry. One man, cut- 
ting grass with a short-bladed scythe, 
looked up from his work, saw us, 
whistled to another man similarly 
engaged, who, taking the signal, waved 
his hand towards the farm, and having 
secured attention and done his work, 
crossed his legs and scrutinised us. 
The first man, in the meantime, 
striding like a giant, had come along- 
side Olaus and me, and opened a rapid 
conversation with the former, of which 
I was the object and illustration, judg- 
ing from his stare and Olaus' gestures. 

"What is it all about?" I asked 
Olaus, at length. They had been 
talking Faroese, which is a spoken, 
not a written, language, and therefore 
a sad stumbling-block for foreigners. 

" He have never seen an English- 
man before ; he is an ignorant 
fellow," said Olaus, at first begin- 
ning in a tone quite loud enough 
for the other to hear, but ending in 
a whisper. Not that the Kirkeboe 
man seemed likely to resent depre- 
ciatory reference to him. He was 
in the throes of an excited desire 
to understand the composition of an 
Englishman, now that Providence had 
put such a creature in his way. Having 
examined the texture of my clothes, 
and shaken his head over the quality 
of my Scotch tweeds, he fell on his 
knees in a fervour, and, ejaculat- 
ing tremulously, " Me shoemaker I " 
seized one of my feet, and began 
pinching and thumbing the leather 
of my boot. Here, at any rate, was 
something that he approved; for, 
having done with my foot, and set 
it tenderly upon the ground again, he 



raised towards me a face full of 
depression, and shook his head 
mournfully, while he murmured, 
" Brilliant ! " 

It was the homage of an artist to- 
wards his ideal. What were untanned 
cowskin moccasins, tied round the ankle 
with common strings, in comparison 
with the elegant thick-soled production 
of a scientific bootmaker? And we 
left this man still gazing at my feet 
as they receded from him. 

The cultivated part of Kirkeboe is 
like all the other cultivated parts in 
the Faroe Isles. From the sea it 
would be a green patch, or patch of 
patches, on the hem of the grey or 
purple swelling mass of land green 
in summer that is ; for later, when 
the hay is stacked and the grain 
carried, the tiny fields take a golden 
colour which almost dazzles the eyes 
in the bright sunshine. The land is 
cut up into numerous sections by the 
shallow ditches necessary to carry off 
the heavy rains which pour down 
from the high overshadowing rocks. 
A Norfolk farmer would laugh a 
Faroe man's husbandry to scorn. 
So poor is the soil, so rude the im- 
plements, so uncertain the weather ! 
And so trifling the results ! He 
would ask wherein lay the use of 
cutting a field of rye some fifteen 
yards by five, the heads of irregular 
height and separated from each other 
by inches. And, indeed, if time were 
as valuable in Faroe as in England, 
there would be reason in his inquiry. 
But when Olaus and I traversed the 
parish, its grass, full of flowers and 
knee deep, was uncut ; and thanks to 
the mountain mist and the warm sun 
which now seemed to shine from under 
the mist, as strong and sweet of per- 
fume as any English meadow in June. 
Kine were tethered here and there, 
and peered at us with mild questioning 
eyes. A milk girl, with one pail of 
milk slung on her back, one on each 
of her arms, and knitting withal as 
she went swinging and singing down 
to the farm, gave us cheerful greeting. 
The sea, placid silver to the horizon, 






A Walk in the Faroes. 



125 



or until obscured by the frowning 
rocks of Sandoe and Hestoe, just broke 
into white foam against the gnarled 
and iron strand of the village. 

Close to the white church and the 
beach is the one ecclesiastical ruin in 
Faroe. It stands picturesquely with its 
four chief walls uncovered to the sky, 
grass within them and grass without, 
and its large pointed east window 
filled with a near panorama of black 
perpendicular cliffs with grassy edges 
of velvety green inaccessible even for 
the nimble Faroe sheep. Centuries 
ago, before Protestantism trod the life 
out of architecture, here at Kirkeboe 
was a bishop's residence and a school 
for priests. But with the Reforma- 
tion the importance of the place ended. 
A Protestant bishop was appointed to 
Kirkeboe, it is true ; but certain of the 
sea robbers, who from the earliest 
times had ravaged these thinly- 
peopled islands, soon frightened this 
gentleman out of the country. Since 
then no bishop has held sway in Faroe ; 
and the ruins at Kirkeboe are the 
only remaining witness of the early 
power of the Church in the isles. 
Once in six or seven weeks the pro- 
vost or dean of the clergy holds ser- 
vice nowadays in the place where, 
five hundred years ago, prayers were 
said daily by a bishop. 

The hospitality of Northmen is pro- 
verbial. Though, save for one or two 
government officials, there are no rich 
men in Faroe, a stranger is every- 
where received with open hands and, 
better still, with open hearts. Olaus 
was for taking advantage of this 
immediately. He would introduce me 
to the farmer there and then, and I 
could begin eating and drinking within 
the minute. But I saw through his 
pretext, and bid him go and fill his 
own stomach while I examined the 
cathedral walls. I had no excuse for 
pressing myself upon strangers, it 
seemed to me ; if he as a native had 
less conscience, so much the better for 
him. This he refused to do, however ; 
and he sulkily followed me into the 
cathedral precincts. But here there 
was really nothing of interest to see. 



The walls are of hard trapstone, the 
irregular blocks connected with a 
mortar of extraordinary adhesive- 
ness. By the eastern window are 
some stone decorations, and outside 
the same window is a sculpture of the 
crucifixion, not more artistic than the 
bulk of other similar work three cen- 
turies ago. In fact, the most curious 
object in the cathedral was something 
secular a plough. The Kirkeboe 
bonder had introduced this novelty 
into his district only the other day ; 
and, though by no means remarkable 
in its make or size, it was to a Faroe 
man transcendent in interest over the 
cathedral and all its history. It was to 
this that Olaus pointed triumphantly 
when we walked into the long grass 
of the aisle. And it was to explain 
this to me that another man in a blue 
nightcap came headlong after us and 
plunged straightway into an incompre- 
hensible discourse, one word in ten of 
which was English. But it was deli- 
cious to mark instant enmity towards 
this interloper printed upon Olaus' 
face. He tried to out-talk him, and, 
failing in this, assured me that the 
plough was not good for much after 
all, let that other man say what he 
might about it ; and, as if he were my 
sworn bodyguard, he constantly inter- 
posed himself between the man and 
me, his face red with indignation, and 
his eyes flashing. The stranger man 
drew me aside towards a bit of de- 
corated work of which he seemed to 
know the history, and as the ground 
in the vicinity was swampy he exerted 
himself to put stepping-stones for me 
in the kindest and most self-sacrificial 
manner. At this Olaus seemed beside 
himself with anger ; he stood apart and 
writhed, working his lips like a luna- 
tic, and he took it hardly when I 
laughed at him. Eventually, he stole 
towards me, and getting on the side 
farthest from the obnoxious interloper 
whispered, with dramatic tremulous- 
ness, upturning an anguished eye of 
assurance at the same time 

" Sir, this man lille (little) drunk ; I 
swear he lille drunk." 

But I am afraid Olaus derived no 



126 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



comfort from the accusation, for I felt 
impelled to tell him that the new arri- 
val " a little drunk " was more enter- 
taining than himself, perfectly sober. 
At this conjuncture the farmer him- 
self opportunely appeared at the 
west end of the aisle, smiling 
and extending his hand in greeting. 
And behind him came his sons, two 
broad-shouldered brown young men, 
as honestly genial of expression as 
their father. They all shook my hand 
with a vigour that made me wince, 
and I was invited into the house with- 
out delay. 

It was an ordinary-looking .Faroe 
farm building, with the usual number 
of smaller houses attached, for the 
bedding of the labourers, the drying 
of the mutton and beef for winter use, 
the storing of grain and wool, both 
raw and manufactured ; black in the 
body, with a roofing of bright turf, 
amid which pink achillea and yellow 
buttercups bloomed profusely. But 
at one time its foundations had sup- 
ported an episcopal residence. Where 
now farm-refuse littered the yard and 
cods' heads stared ugly in death, 
shaven monks had walked to and fro, 
with the swirl of the sea on the rocks 
hard by dinning their ears. No 
whitewashed Lutheran church, sur- 
mounted by its lozenge-shaped belfry 
tower, had then stood between them 
and the sea horizon. 

Not that I was allowed time for 
any such old-world reflections as 
these. Divorced from. Olaus, who, 
though a consequential man. was 
not fit for a drawing-room, I surren- 
dered myself wholly to my new friends, 
exchanged bows and hand-shakings 
with the lady of the house, and seated 
myself by the table, with a vase of 
blue and crimson flowers under my 
nose. Then came in the farmer's 
daughter, a young lady of eighteen, 
who had just finished her education, 
as the phrase goes, in Copenhagen, 
and, after greetings, was commis- 
sioned to bring wine and cake and 
cigars. She was a beautiful girl, with 
dark eyes unusual in this land of 
Northmen, brilliant complexion, and 



an elegant figure ; but, much as one 
could not help admiring her, it went 
against the grain to be waited upon 
by her with a deference that was yet 
more humiliating. In Faroe the cus- 
tom of toasting is general. He were 
but an ill-mannered fellow who would 
drink anything stronger than water in 
company with another without wish- 
ing him health and prosperity. Accord- 
ingly, glasses were filled with sherry 
(a great luxury in Faroe), and, one 
after the other, standing with solemn 
eyes, the household of the bonder 
clinked my glass, uttering the mono- 
syllable " Skald." The wine was then 
drunk at a gulp, smiles were ex- 
changed, and cigars were lit by the 
gentlemen. Photographic albums were 
brought forward, and, with kindly 
simplicity, I was informed of the 
names and standing of people whom I 
had never seen and was never likely 
to know. In Faroe, as elsewhere, pho- 
tography has proved a social blessing. 
No house is without its collection of 
portraits, and these almost invariably 
serve to break the ice of early acquaint- 
anceship. In Thorshavn I was soon 
at home with the photographs of 
scores of people who were strangers 
to me when I left the place. 

I asked the bonder if his farm was 
prosperous. It was a foolish question, 
for when, since Adam became a 
labourer, was a tiller of the ground 
contented with its' fruits ? Here, in- 
deed, there was much amiss. The 
summer had been far too wet. The 
hay would be late, and the crops re- 
fused to ripen. The cows were not 
too loyal in their tribute. The lambs 
had met with many accidents; and 
numbers of the sheep had, at wooling 
time, shed their fleeces against the 
rocky edges of the mountains, and 
presented themselves to their owner 
naked and profitless. Even the eider 
ducks, in his rock-island a hundred 
yards away, had not yielded him more 
than two pounds of down this season, 
at twenty shillings the pound. And 
the cod fishing also had been poor. 

But, having voided himself of these 
legitimate grievances, the farmer ac- 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



127 



knowledged that he had much to be 
thankful for. His family were well, 
his men did their work, and they all 
had enough to eat and drink. Nor 
were they troubled with anxieties about 
war and such matters, as in England. 
One of the boys here pricked up his 
ears and asked if General Gordon was 
really dead, and when I told him the 
common opinion, he looked quite sorry. 
They had heard of Gordon from the 
Copenhagen papers, and in Faroe, 
no less than in Denmark, he had 
been exalted on a pedestal of heroic 
fame. Moreover they knew some- 
thing of his features from the alma- 
nacs supplied to the local merchants 
by the traders from Orkney and 
Shetland. To the farmer, Gordon 
suggested the royal family of Den- 
mark, and the different members of 
King Christian's house were enumer- 
ated affectionately for me, and their 
portraits, including those of the 
Prince and Princess of Wales, ar- 
ranged symmetrically on one wall of 
the room, indicated to me. It is a 
trifle strange, considering how little 
actual advantage they derive from the 
Danish rule, that the Faroese should 
be so warm in their devotion to the 
Danish Government ; and may, per- 
haps, be explained by the surmise that 
in the less complex stages of civilisa- 
tion man can and will venerate and 
love a master, if he be not positively 
hateful. I never entered a house in 
Faroe without seeing a portrait of the 
Danish king a steel engraving or a 
common woodcut daubed with rainbow 
colours. Loyalty is surely spontaneous 
in these happy isles. 

King Christian's picture recalled to 
my kindly host another monarch 
whose memory is held in esteem at 
Kirkeboe. Centuries ago the people of 
Norway rose against their sovereign 
and put him to death ; and would 
also have killed his Queen Gunhild 
and her little boy-baby had she not 
fled from the country with him. 
Kirkeboe in Faroe was the refuge 
sought by this poor lady with her 
orphaned child. A relative of hers 
was bishop here, and gave her shelter. 



She assumed a menial character, hid 
her boy for a whole summer in a cave 
among the black-beetling rocks over 
the village, visiting him daily to 
suckle and tend him, and trusted in 
the future to atone for the past and 
present. In due time the boy grew 
up to manhood. Then, donning his 
rights as a panoply, he returned to 
Norway, carried all before him, and 
secured his father's throne. This tale 
of King Sverre, Bishop Ho, and Gun- 
hild the Queen, was told me by the 
elder of the farmer's sons ; and 
he would have shown the site of the 
cave itself if the fog had not lain too 
low on the hill sides. Avalanches of 
stones and snow have in the course of 
time made the hole harder to attain 
than once it was, but at the best it 
must have been a panting climb for 
the hapless queen, in addition to her 
other misfortunes of exile and apparent 
servitude. 

Another curiosity of Kirkeboe is a 
famous old house of Norwegian tim- 
ber, with as wonderful a history as 
the Santa Casa of Loretto. It is said 
to be eight hundred years old, and to 
have floated deliberately from Norway 
upon the beach of Kirkeboe, not 
exactly furnished, but ready for fur- 
niture and occupation. Nor is it of 
flimsy material. Trunks a foot 
in diameter are dovetailed into 
similar trunks ; and the massy planks 
of the partitions and flooring suggest 
the enormous weight of the entire 
structure. There is rude carving on 
some of the beams, and the panels also 
are decorated here and there. Nowa- 
days the chief room of this house serves 
as the rtfgstue, or kitchen ; literally, 
the smoke-room, as the common 
kitchen of a Faroe house being 
unprovided with a chimney, the 
hearth stands in the middle of the 
chamber, and over it, in the roof, is 
a hole for the smoke to go through 
wlien it chooses. When I entered it a 
man on his knees was eating fish from a 
wooden trough, much as a pig feeds in 
his stye. He had the backbone of an 
entire cod in his two hands, and was 
sucking the flesh from it with enthu- 



128 



A Walk in the, Faroes. 



siasm. A woman at the other end of 
the room was turning the spinning- 
. wheel, keeping an eye upon certain 
rolls of rye-bread laid upon a gridiron 
over the lurid sods of turf on the 
hearth. These cakes were of two 
dimensions, the greater, representing 
one man's portion, being perhaps a 
quarter as large again as the other or 
woman's portion. It is an old Faroe 
custom thus to distinguish between 
the appetite or deserts of the sexes 
probably the latter. And yet, apart 
from the claim of more exacting phy- 
sique, considering the work done by 
men and women, one is disposed to 
think that the men are rewarded over- 
liberally. A specialist, for instance, 
thus enumerates the chief duties of a 
Faroe housewife. She has "to crush 
corn in the quern, to clean the entrails 
of slaughtered animals, to cleanse the 
cow-houses and milk the cows, to dry 
the corn, to knit, weave, and sew, to 
knead and bake the bread, to pluck 
the sea-birds, taken by the thousand 
in the season, wash the skins and 
wool, and do all other washing, to 
spin, dye, cook, &c., &c." Whereas, if 
we exclude fishing and field work, 
both of which are much curtailed in 
winter, when the nights are four times 
as long as the days, the men are 
mainly engaged in woolwork, and chat- 
tering like the women themselves. 
But it will be long before the women 
of Faroe take up the cry of " equality 
of consideration and a bigger loaf ! " 
Dutiful submission to their lords and 
masters is inborn with Jb hem like the 
marrow of their bones. 

Out of this r^gstue, the beams of 
which were grimed with the smoke of 
centuries, we went into a sleeping 
chamber. The beds were of hay, new 
cut, ravishingly sweet, and set in the 
wood of the wall like the bunks of a 
ship. Under the floor of this room 
was a cavity, ten feet, perhaps, in 
depth, which, if tradition may be cre- 
dited, was used as a dungeon by the old 
Northmen who owned the house before 
it got adrift from the mainland. It 
were curious to know the exact history 
of this imported domicile. One thing 



is sure that it is unique in Faroe. 
As for its trip of two hundred miles 
across the North Atlantic, one is 
loth to rebuff the imagination by dis- 
crediting such a delicious spectacle. 

The good farmer was for returning 
and drinking more wine after viewing 
the rpgstue. But one of the boys 
suggested that the white church ought 
to be seen ; his father had the reading 
of the service upon him five Sundays 
out of six, he said. And so the key 
was fetched, and, passing through a 
tangled bit of paddock, notable only 
for some edible shrub which grew in 
it, we assailed and opened the door. 
A less remarkable place of worship 
cannot be conceived. It was of wood, 
varnished inside and whitewashed 
outside; plain to nakedness, with a 
streak or two of bright colour about 
its wooden pulpit. A spittoon stood 
at the foot of the altar, which bore 
a crucifix and some dirt. But, though 
so unattractive, familiarity had en- 
deared the edifice to the boys. They 
prattled about; it, and sat on the tops 
of the pews, lounged against the altar, 
and paddled their fingers in the font ; 
told how in winter the sea thunders 
its waves against the sides and drowns 
the sound of the pastor's voice ; the 
number of the congregation, a bare 
half dozen at times ; the cost of the 
candles, and so forth. The Lutherans 
of Faroe are not excited religionists ; 
they take their quota of inspired 
moral teaching once a week, or once 
every six weeks, as the case may be, 
and it suffices them. In truth, how- 
ever, there can be no more moral 
community under the sun than this 
isolated population of eleven thousand 
human beings. 

When we were about to leave the 
church and re-lock it, my friend and 
guide Olaus made his appearance in 
the doorway, with a shining face and 
an eager expression. 

" Dreadful bad weather coming 
on ! " he said to me in an aside, which 
happily was audible to the elder of 
the farmer's sons. 

"Bad ! why, the sun is all over the 
sea," exclaimed the boy, " and Sandoe 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



129 



yonder is out of the clouds. It will 
be soft to-morrow, but all to-day 
fine." 

"Well, /think " murmured Olaus, 
with a vanquished look of discomfi- 
ture at his belly, which was patently 
swelled, " I am ready to go home ! " 
he continued, in elucidation of his 
weather wisdom. 

But this the good bonder protested 
against. I had taken only the pre- 
liminary refreshment ; a substantial 
repast would be ready by and by ; his 
wife was preparing it. 

And so, to pass the time, it was 
proposed that we should visit the eider- 
duck island, a good stone's throw 
from the shore. Accordingly, some 
men were summoned, and, with a 
whoop of self-encouragement, these 
launched one of the bonder's boats. 
A Faroe boat is as old fashioned a 
concern as a poke bonnet. It has a 
curved prow and a curved stern ; and 
both ends are furnished with handles 
for the seizure of the boat. The oars, 
moreover, are tied to the sides with 
thongs of cowskin. But there can be 
no ground for cavil against boats and 
men who, like these, can jointly get over 
twenty-four miles of water-way, and 
not by any means still water, in four 
hours or so. Faroe men row astonish- 
ingly quick, but for style they care 
nothing ; and though they would soon 
beat an Oxford crew in a long race, 
they would not fail also to excite its 
derision. 

During the passage the boys pulled 
up a quantity of seaweed, and offered 
me three varieties to taste and deter- 
mine as to the best. Olaus, who was 
with us, would have saved me the 
ordeal of decision ; for he filled his 
mouth by handfuls. But the boys 
scorned Olaus, esteeming him by 
another standard than his own, and 
I had to arbitrate. Two of the kinds 
were ribbon-leaved and palatable 
enough; the third, like a rope of 
amber, was better still. Henceforward 
I shall consider it no hardship for a 
community to be forced upon this kind 
of food as a supplement to better. 
Though what consequences would 
No. 314. VOL. LIIT. 



ensue upon an exclusive diet of sea- 
weed I cannot pretend to say. Olaus, 
who seemed to be a receptacle for any- 
thing eatable, having disposed of many 
yards of seaweed, began upon the 
mussels and other shell-fish which 
incrusted the rocks of the bird-island, 
and we left him at his dessert, in 
search of nests. 

The Holm, as they called it, was 
hard to walk upon, being composed of 
irregular heaps of rock overgrown 
with long rank grass, in which the 
common sea - birds laid their eggs. 
Though it was very late in the season, 
these eggs were under our feet wher- 
ever we trod, and many a promising 
brood was perforce destroyed. As for 
the more valuable eider broods, these 
were provided with thatched houses, 
into which we crept carefully, blocking 
the aperture so as to leave the female 
bird no chance of escape. And thus we 
saw several interesting families in the 
straw side by side. The female is a 
rich glossy slate and bronze colour, 
somewhat larger than our common 
duck. Ordinarily there were four eggs 
in each nest. Some, however, were 
hatched, and the delicate young birds 
fluttered hither and thither in their 
excitement. Not one of the more 
resplendent male birds was at home ; 
they were doubtless whirling about 
over the seaward end of the islet, 
screaming their best in company 
with thousands of other birds. It is 
from the lower part of the neck and 
the breast of these precious birds that 
the down is plucked. And it was 
from this rock that the bonder derived 
his revenue of a couple of pounds 
sterling, as the value of the two 
pounds weight of down which he had 
been able to accumulate in the year. 

I asked if the common tern's eggs 
were good to eat, when, to my dis- 
tress, I had crushed three at one step : 
and Olaus Jackson, who had rejoined 
us after his surfeit of shell-fish, 
for answer bade me watch him. The 
monster hereupon broke egg after egg 
upon his teeth, and tipped the hapless 
contents down his red throat, seem- 
ingly quite callous whether the eggs 



1:30 



A Walk in the Faroes. 



were good or bad, in an early or a late 
stage of incubation. But he was 
summarily stopped by the younger boy, 
who looked disgusted, and wrathfully 
told him in Faroese that he was com- 
mitting an illegal as well as a hide- 
ously greedy action ; the eggs were 
protected by Faroe law unless they 
were bad. I do not quite know what 
Olaus said in reply but I gathered 
from the boy that he pleaded in ex- 
tenuation the peculiar flavour of most 
of those he had eaten. Personally, 
from what I had seen of him, I could 
believe the man capable of eating a 
bad egg rather than nothing at all. 

But it was time for me to be eating 
on my own account ; not that the day 
was darkening, for in Faroe latitudes 
the sun in summer hardly goes below 
the horizon at the end of the day. 
Rain was to be feared, however, and 
a thickening of the clouds on the hills. 
The bonder would not join me at my 
meal ; the laws of hospitality forbade 
such presumption. And, much as I 
should have liked his company, I did 
not press it. All the members of the 
family were present while I ate. They 
took a quiet unobtrusive interest in 
my movements, and talked only when 
addressed. Again I was waited on by 
the ladies with cheerful zeal ; and this 
was the only embarrassing part of the 
meal to myself. The spoons here, as 
in most Faroe farmhouses, were of 
silver, heavy and old. Lastly, coffee 
and cigars were brought forward, and 
a reluctant permission to start was 
accorded me. Had I been willing to 
stay, they would have welcomed me. 
The guest room, opening from the 
drawing-room, was shown to tempt 
me ; but it was as nothing compared 
with their own honest hospitable dis- 
positions. To crown his kindness, the 
bonder offered me a horse for the 
return journey. It was a little animal 
of the Faroe breed, such as the dealers 
buy in the isles for three to four sove- 
reigns apiece ; but it was surefooted 
and strong. Then, one after the other, 
these friends of a day said " Farvel" 
almost tremulously, and squeezed my 



hand not even excepting the young 
lady, who, in spite of her Copenhagen 
piano and finished education, was as 
simple of speech and manner as a 
peasant's daughter dependent for her 
education upon nature alone. Her fair 
face was crimson when she said 
" Good-bye," and her eyes looked down 
modestly ; but she gripped my hand as 
tightly as a boy. Verily, I could not 
help feeling sad when I rejoined the 
lumpish Olaus, and thought that in all 
human probability I should never see 
these true gentlefolk again. 

We made the first mile or so of our 
return climb in silence. Olaus seemed 
sulky, and panted as if troubled by 
his digestion ; while the sharp rock 
of Kolter Island, five miles across the 
now glittering sea, enchained my eyes, 
though not my thought. A little 
higher, and we were plunged to the 
neck into the inevitable fog. But, 
before taking the step, I looked back 
at Kirkeboe, now a green space no 
larger than a handkerchief on the 
level between the mountains and the 
sea, with its white church no bigger 
than a common nut ; and the sight 
warmed my heart. Then, for two 
weary hours, we waded through a mist 
' that hung our beards with dewdrops, 
and made us limp to the bones. 

No sooner were we in the chief street 
of Thorshavn than my man straight- 
ened himself up, and tried to renew 
the deportment of the morning. But 
something made him abruptly throw 
aside all his assumption of importance. 
" Farvel" he said, with sudden 
energy, holding out his hand, and his 
eye was bright. 

"Why! what is the matter?" I 
asked. "You may as well come on! 
Why not?" 

"Because," said Olaus, with deci- 
sion, though his lip quivered, " it is 
supper- time. Farvel." 

And away he sprang towards his 
own house, soon breaking into a 
gentle trot, which, ere I lost him, had 
developed into a tearing gallop of 
impatience. 



131 



THE DEATH OF AMY ROBSART. 



IT has always been a vexed question 
how far poets and romance-writers 
should be permitted to work the 
course of history to their own will ; 
and it is inevitable that it should be 
so. It is impossible to deliver the 
law on any point which must, after 
all, depend mainly on personal notions 
of reason and propriety, even in those 
rare cases where two persons are found 
to agree on the truth of history itself. 
Yet the question, like so many much- 
debated questions, has its simple side 
or what at least may seem so to minds 
not too stubbornly set on finding diffi- 
culties. It has one particularly simple 
side, which indeed seems to offer the 
very last word to those comfortable 
souls who are averse to considering too 
curiously on any matter. When 'Old 
Mortality' was first published there 
arose much discussion on the author's 
treatment of the two parties, the Cava- 
liers and the Puritans : especially in 
Scotland it was thought altogether 
intolerable that the " bloody Claver'se" 
of a legend still so firmly believed 
should be presented as a mirror of 
chivalry. All this seemed to Jeffrey 
very much of a storm in a tea-cup. " It 
is," he wrote, 1 " a singular honour, no 
doubt, to a work of fiction and amuse- 
ment to be thus made the theme of 
serious attack and defence upon points 
of historical and theological discussion; 
and to have grave dissertations written 
by learned contemporaries upon the 
accuracy of its representations of pub- 
lic events and characters. It is diffi- 
cult for us, we confess, to view the 
matter in so serious a light." We 
must for our part own to being very 
much on the side of Jeffrey, holding 
that in a professed work of fiction the 
license of the author should be in pro- 
portion to his .capacity of using it for 
1 'Edinburgh Review,' March, 1817. 



our amusement. However, we do not 
propose to intrude our own views, still 
less to attempt to make converts to 
them ; being very well aware how 
extremely unpopular and altogether 
absurd they must seem to so eager, 
curious, and, above all, so exact an 
age as this. There is, however, 
another view which we shall offer 
with less diffidence ; a simple view, 
too, and, as it seems to us, based 
upon good sense. It is, at any rate, 
the view of a man entitled to be 
heard on any question of literature 
some will say especially on any 
question of romantic literature. It 
is the view of Macaulay, and may 
be seen in a passage of his journal 
quoted by Mr. Trevelyan. 2 He 
had been reading Schiller's 'Joan of 
Arc/ and had closed the book in a 
characteristic tempest of indigna- 
tion with the last act. " Absurd be- 
yond description," he calls it ; and 
then he goes on : " The monstrous 
violation of history which everybody 
knows is not to be defended. Schiller 
might just as well have made Wallen- 
stein dethrone the Emperor, and reign 
himself over Germany or Mary be- 
come Queen of England, and cut off 
Elizabeth's head, as make Joan fall 
in the moment of victory." The pre- 
sent is not perhaps the most con- 
venient time for putting Macaulay 
in the witness-box. He is not in 
fashion ; but fashions do not last. An 
epoch of change such as, we hear pro- 
claimed, triumphantly or otherwise, 
on every side, we are now passing 
through, "is often followed by an epoch 
of restoration ; and as the frequent 
attempts which, despite Mr. Bagehot's 
warning, 3 have in recent times been 

2 'Life and Letters of Lord Macanlay,' 
ch. xii. 

3 Ibid. ch. xi. 

K 2 



132 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



made to re-write Macaulay have not 
been uniformly successful, it is quite 
within the bounds of possibility that 
another generation may see fit to re- 
verse the decision of this. At any rate 
in this particular instance Macaulay's 
verdict is perhaps as satisfactory, cer- 
tainly as clear as any we are likely to 
get. It may be said to represent the 
common-sense of the question ; and 
though common-sense is itself perhaps 
in no very great favour to-day, it 
affords at least a good point to start 
from. 

Let us assume then, that the poet 
or romance- writer, when working with 
historic materials, times, characters, 
or scenes, unfamiliar, doubtful, or 
unimportant, may put them to such 
uses as his fancy or convenience may 
dictate. "Where his materials are such 
as everybody, even historians them- 
selves, are agreed upon, he must range 
himself with " everybody." Starting 
with this assumption, we propose to 
inquire what really is the sum of 
the grave offences against history Sir 
Walter Scott has been accused of 
committing in his novel of ' Kenil- 
worth.' There is, probably, by this 
time a pretty general impression that 
all is not as it should be in that 
enchanting tale. But the impres- 
sion does not seem to be a very 
clear one, even among those who 
have been most strenuous to put 
Sir Walter wrong. Our inquiry is 
not inspired by any great motives. 
We are influenced by no abstract love 
of truth or justice. We have no super- 
stitious reverence for the awful muse 
of history. Our motive is in truth 
no higher one than curiosity, the idle 
motive of an empty day ; and espe- 
cially a curiosity to see how these 
antiquarians work. Your thorough- 
going antiquarian is in the very nature 
of things a terrible iconoclast. Now 
iconoclasm is an intoxicating pastime ; 
when once the spirit of battle is up, 
few of its professors are cool enough 
to see or care on whose head the 
swashing blow falls, or what it breaks, 
or to keep in mind the particular 



purpose of the fray. Backwards and 
forwards it rocks, like that famous 
fight over the dead consul 

" Till none could see Valerius, 
And none wist where lie lay." 

" Captain or colonel, or knight in 
arms," down they all go : every- 
thing that stands in the way of 
these furious searchers after truth 
must go, animate or inanimate, prince 
or peasant, cathedral or cottage. And 
the present age is one particularly 
favourable to this free fighting. It is 
not only an epoch of change, but also 
an epoch of dissolution. The old 
shrines must not only be dismantled, 
they must be pulled down ; the old 
idols not only discrowned, they must 
be broken up. If we cannot create, 
we can at least destroy. A Mahomet 
is not born every day, but we can all 
of us be Omars ; we can all help to 
burn the libraries. Perhaps not all 
of this great work of destruction is of 
such importance as its votaries assume. 
However, it is, of course, a serious 
affair to fasten a charge of murder on 
an innocent man, even in fiction. 
So we have been minded to see for 
ourselves how far Sir Walter is really 
guilty of this grave offence ; what 
it is the antiquarians have really 
discovered in short, after a second- 
hand fashion to play the antiquarian 
ourselves. We do not, indeed, for a 
moment profess to have made any 
discoveries of our own ; our present 
business is merely to sift the discoveries 
of others. 

But before setting to work let us, 
as briefly as may be, review the rank 
of Sir Walter's accusers, and the sum 
of their charges against him. In the 
year of the publication of the novel, 
that is in 1821, the errors in Lady 
Dudley's biography were duly set forth 
in the ' Quarterly Review,' and pos- 
sibly in other places unknown to us. 
But it is clear that at the time, and for 
many years afterwards, there was no 
suspicion that any offence against the 
good fame of Leicester, Yarney, or 
Forster had been committed. The 



Tke Death of Amy Robsart. 



133 



tradition that the Earl of Leicester's 
first wife had been done to death at 
Cumnor Hall by foul means to which 
he was privy, if he had not literally 
ordered them, had been common pro- 
perty ever since the Earl's own day. 
It seems to have been in 1848 that the 
truth of this tradition was first seriously 
questioned. In that year Lord Bray- 
brook e published the third edition of 
Pepys's ' Diary,'and the late Mr. George 
Lillie Craik, the first volume of his ' Ro- 
mance of the Peerage.' Both these 
books contained a correspondence then 
lately discovered in the Pepysian 
Library at Cambridge, between Lei- 
cester, or Lord Robert Dudley as he 
then was, and his cousin Sir Thomas 
Blount. The letters are not originals, 
but copies made, it has been assumed 
from the handwriting, some twenty 
years or so after the events they 
report. Lord Braybrooke contented 
himself with merely printing the cor- 
respondence ; but Mr. Craik went 
farther, as was indeed his business. 
He pointed out how much, or, as it 
would be more true to say, how little, 
these letters really proved. He also 
pointed out, and, so far as we know, 
was the first to do so, that Ashmole's 
version of the affair, on which Sir 
Walter had based his tale, was really 
no more than a copy of a notorious 
contemporary publication known as 
'Leycester's Commonwealth.' 

In 1850 Mr. Bartlett, of Abingdon, 
published his ' Historical and Descrip- 
tive Account of Cumnor Place.' In it, 
together with much curious archaeo- 
logical matter, he amplified Mr. Craik' s 
statements; and added some particulars 
of Anthony Forster, whom he showed 
to have been, at any rate intellectual- 
ly and socially, a different man from 
the boorish ruffian of ' Kenil worth.' 
Neither he nor Mr. Craik can be 
called accusers of Sir Walter. They 
did their spiriting gently and reve- 
rently ; above all, they confined them- 
selves solely to facts. By their fol- 
lowers, who have practically been able 
to add little to the sum of their actual 
knowledge, they are barely mentioned. 



Perhaps, because they were not 
" thorough " enough to satisfy those 
Fifth-Monarchy men ; because, unlike 
Butcher Harrison, they " did the work 
negligently." But, in truth, your 
red-hot antiquarian is never very 
prompt to acknowledge his debts. 
In 1859 the late Mr. Pettigrew, vice- 
president of the British Archaeological 
Association, published a pamphlet, 
called * An Inquiry into the Particu- 
lars connected with the Death of Amy 
Robsart (Lady Dudley),' l which he had 
previously read at the meeting of the 
Society at New bury in the same year. 
A more voluminous work, ' Amye Rob- 
sart and the Earl of Leycester,' followed 
in 1870 from Mr. Adlard, an American 
gentleman. Six years later, that is 
in 1876, Canon Jackson read a paper 
on the same subject at the meeting of 
the Wiltshire Archaeological Society at 
Salisbury. This paper was privately 
printed in the following year, and sub- 
sequently incorporated in an article 
published in the 'Nineteenth Century ' 
Magazine, for March, 1882. 

Only one voice, has been heard on 
the other side, but that is no feeble 
one. A short while ago Mr. Walter 
Rye, known for his researches in the 
history of Norfolk, published a pamph- 
let, 'The Murder of Amy Robsart,' 
which he defiantly styles, "A Brief 
for the Prosecution." He has intro- 
duced too much unsavoury and irrele- 
vant scandal about Queen Elizabeth ; 
but he has also recapitulated with great 
clearness and precision the charge 
against Leicester; he has broken 
down much of the evidence on the 
other side ; and if his new points for the 
prosecution are not always of paramount 
importance, he has at least reminded 
the jury of much which his opponents 
have naturally done their best to put 
by or to ignore. If Sir Walter wanted 
a counsel, he need wish for no better 
one than Mr. Rye. 

Let us now take the points in the 
story on which Sir Walter has been 

1 Lady, or Dame, Dudley, in the style of 
the day, not Lady Robert Dudley as we should 
say now. 



134 



The Death of Amy Rolsart. 



proved wrong. Amy's father was not 
Sir Hugh Robsart, of Devonshire, but 
Sir John Robsart, of Norfolk. She did 
not steal from her home to marry 
Dudley privately ; she was married to 
him publicly at Sheen, in Surrey, on 
the fourth of June, 1550. It is known 
from the Privy Council Records that 
she visited him when he was a prisoner 
in the Tower, for his share in the at- 
tempt to put his brother's wife, Lady 
Jane Grey, on the throne. A letter, pre- 
served in the Harleian manuscripts, 
written by her to Mr. Flowerdew, the 
agent of a Norfolk sheep-farm that 
she had brought her husband, shows 
her to have been living some time be- 
tween 1557 and 1559, at the house of 
one Mr. Hyde, at Denchworth, about 
four miles from Cumnor. Therefore, 
her married life was not the involun- 
tary seclusion of the novel, though 
she certainly seems to have had but 
little of her husband's company. She 
was never Countess of Leicester, and 
she never was at Kenilworth. The 
Queen gave Kenilworth to Lord Robert 
Dudley, in June 1563 ; and in Sep- 
tember of the same year created him 
Earl of Leicester. Lady Dudley was 
not found dead in a cellar, but lying 
at the foot of a staircase leading down 
into the hall. Her father had died 
some years previously, shortly after her 
marriage. Neither was the skeleton 
of Anthony Forster found lying across 
his money-bags in a secret chamber. It 
is not known precisely where he died, 
but he was buried on the tenth of 
November, 1572, in Cumnor church, in 
a sumptuous marble tomb, which stands 
to this day. On that tomb are in- 
scribed the names of his five children, 
but among them the name of Janet 
does not appear. It is also known that 
he stood much higher in the social 
scale than he stands in the novel. 

This is the sum total of Sir Walter's 
proved blenches from the straight path 
of history. We will now turn to 
those other and more serious offences 
he is alleged to have committed. They 
may be very briefly stated : firstly, 
there is absolutely no proof that Lady 



Dudley was murdered ; secondly, if 
she was murdered, there is absolutely 
no proof that Dudley, Forster, or 
Varney were in any way accessories, 
either before or after the fact ; thirdly, 
there is every possible reason for dis- 
believing them to have been so. As 
Canon Jackson is the latest accuser, 
and as his plaint embraces the whole 
story begun by Mr. Craik and con- 
tinued by Messieurs Bartlett, Petti- 
grew, and Adlard, we will confine our 
examination in chief to him. 

But we must first spare a word or 
two on a mistake of his we will not 
call it but a slight confusion of ideas. 
It is not only against the novel that he 
takes up his parable, but against the 
" several kinds of public spectacles " 
emanating from the novel. "There 
was," he says, "the melodrama of 
'Amy Robsart ' performed for a whole 
season before thousands upon thou- 
sands." This melodrama the good Canon 
cannot away with, and particularly 
the part it assigned to Varney, who 
seems indeed to have been modelled 
on the good old pattern of theatrical 
villainy. " It must," he says, " be ex- 
quisitely ridiculous to any person 
knowing the truth to sit and see such 
nonsense. An archaeologist, looking 
round upon the spectators, would sigh 
with pity for the hundreds of simple 
folk who watch the proceedings with 
the deepest interest, not having the 
slightest idea that they are gulled and 
misled by the whole representation." 
Well, the archaeologist has his revenge 
now. It is he who " gulls " and " mis- 
leads " the " simple folk " to-day by 
the anachronisms and other absur- 
dities he persuades ignorant managers 
to perpetrate in their so-called Shake- 
spearean revivals, and other historical 
spectacles. This, however, is beside 
the present question. What we desire 
with submission to point out to Canon 
Jackson is, that Sir Walter cannot in 
reason be held to blame for the catch- 
penny theatrical imitations of his work. 
Would any sane person venture 
maintain that Shakespeare was respoi 
ible for the monstrous travesties 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



135 



his work that strut across the stage 
to-day 9 

" It must be exquisitely ridiculous," 
says Canon Jackson, " to any person 
knowing the truth to sit and see such 
nonsense." Let us see then what is 
the truth ; not the conjecture or the 
inference, the possibility or proba- 
bility, but the truth, the literal 
matter-of-fact. And first of Forster 
and Yarney. 

We may presume the story of 
' Kenilworth ' to be generally familiar 
to our readers ; and as the preface to 
all editions of the novel likely to have 
come into their hands contains the 
passage from Ashmole's 'Antiquities 
of Berkshire ' l which Sir Walter took 
for his authority, we need not quote 
it here. It must, however, be remem- 
bered, that all the rest of Ashmole's 
narrative, the hasty burial, the ex- 
humation and inquest at the father's 
insistance, and the subsequent re-burial 
in Oxford ; has no place in ' Kenil- 
worth.' All we are concerned with is 
Sir Walter's alleged offence in giving 
countenance to a shameless libel im- 
plicating three honourable men in a 
murder that never was committed. 

That Ashmole though it would 
be more strictly archaeological to say 
Ashmole's editor, it will be more con- 
venient to say Ashmole, and we must 
trust that the shade of that learned 
herald will pardon us that Ashmole 
took this story from ' Leycester's Com- 
monwealth,' was, as we have said, first 
shown by Mr. Craik, and in Mr. 
Pettigrew's pamphlet the passages 
he borrowed are printed. The re- 
semblance is certainly very close, 
being in parts indeed no other than 
a literal transcript. ' Leycester's Com- 
monwealth' was a famous book in 
its day. It was printed abroad, and 

1 According to Lysons' ' History of Berk- 
shire, '(Ellas Ashmole, "that industrious herald 
and antiquary," is not really responsible for 
this work. It was published after his death, 
and all of his own hand contained in it is the 
church notes copied from those deposited by 
him in the Herald's College. All else was 
contributed by the Editor. Mr. Adlard has 
called attention to this. 



the copies sent bound into England 
with the outside of the leaves coloured 
green, whence it was popularly known 
as "Father Parson's Green Coat." 
The first edition bears the date 1584. 
The notorious Jesuit, Robert Parsons, 
has always been credited with the 
work, but there was a strong sus- 
picion at the time that Cecil had a 
hand in it. In this suspicion Mr. Rye 
is much inclined to agree. It is 
certain, as he says, that Cecil was 
no friend to Leicester ; and it is 
at least a curious coincidence that 
in the ' Commonwealth ' reference is 
made to Sir Nicholas Throckmor- 
ton's report of a rumour current 
in Paris that " the Queen of England 
had a meaning to marry her Horse- 
keeper." This report was made 
in a private letter to Cecil ! The 
authorship of the book is, however, 
of no very great moment. There is the 
book itself, plain enough: and it can 
be no less plain to any one who reads 
the history of the time that it does no 
more than repeat the current scandal 
about Leicester. A gross and shame- 
less libel it may be ; written it may be 
by an unscrupulous man who had every 
motive to injure and discredit the 
professed champion of the Protestant 
cause ; but it is more certain than 
anything else in this wretched business 
that * Leycester's Commonwealth ' only 
put into shape the floating stories 
against Leicester's good fame. AD 
answer was sent out by Sir Philip 
Sydney, framed in hot haste at the 
moment, but never printed till the 
publication of the ' Sydney Papers ' 
in 1746. Mr. Adlard calls it " a very 
able answer to the 'Commonwealth,' 
and refutation of the statements 
made therein." It is neither one 
nor the other. Sydney was Dudley's 
nephew, and the paper is precisely 
such as a chivalrous man, who 
hated to hear ill of any one, 
would write of a defamed kinsman. 
It is vague, confused, warm-hearted, 
and somewhat hot-headed; a gene- 
ral disclaimer of all reports against 
Dudley's good name, partly, indeed, 



136 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



based on the excellent qualities of his 
lineage ; a particular refutation of 
none. It proves nothing ; it dis- 
proves nothing ; and it never even 
mentions the Cumnor scandal by name. 
Of Forster and Varney there is no 
other mention in the book, and Petti- 
grew, writing in 1859, is obliged to 
own that of the latter he " can ascer- 
tain no particulars." But Canon 
Jackson, as we have seen, "knows 
the truth." What then is the truth 
he knows? Mr. Adlard had already 
published two letters ^which he had 
discovered in the Lansdowne manu- 
scripts at the British Museum, from 
Leicester to Cecil, about the lands of 
a certain " young Varney," grandson 
of a Sir Richard Yarney (or Verney), 1 
who was sheriff of Warwickshire in 
1562, and died in 1567. To these 
Canon Jackson has added a letter, 
found among the papers at Longleat, 
dated from Warwick, the twentieth 
of April, 1560, addressed "To the 
Bt. honourable and my verry good 
lorde, the lorde Bobert Dudley, Mr. of 
the horses to the Quene's Majestie at 
Court," and signed " Bichard Yerney." 
The letter itself is of no matter, re- 
ferring merely to the loss of some 
hawks of Dudley's by the carelessness 
of one of the writer's servants. But 
the seal is the thing : like Constantino, 
the Canon cries, In hoc signo vincam. 
The device of this seal is an antelope, 
and at the end of the animal's tail is 
what the Canon calls "a tripartite 
finish, something like a fleur-de-lis." 
Antelopes thus adorned support, 
he says, the coat of arms borne 
by the Yerneys of Compton Yerney 
in Warwickshire, whereof the present 
Lord Willoughby de Broke is the 
head. Consequently this Bichard 
Yerney must have been a member 
of that family. As a matter of fact, 
the Willoughbys and Yerneys, of 
Compton Murdac, not Compton Yer- 
ney, did not intermarry till the next 
century. This is, of course, neither 
here nor there ; only, an antiquarian 

1 The name, as was the fashion of the day, 
was spelt in all manner of different ways. 



is clearly nothing if not accurate. 
However, we will allow that the 
Bichard Yerney who wrote to Dudley 
about some hawks was a perfectly 
reputable and blameless gentleman. 
And indeed, as the Canon quotes, 
though without specifying his autho- 
rity, a letter from Sir Ambrose Cave, 
member of Parliament for Warwick- 
shire, recommending Sir Bichard 
Yarney to Dudley as a commissioner 
for that county, we may fairly assume 
him to have been a personage of some 
note. But contemporary with this im- 
maculate knight was another Bichard 
Yarney. There was a well-known 
Buckinghamshire family of that name 2 
connected with the Dudleys by mar- 
riage and also by misfortunes. Sir 
Balph Yarney had, with other chil- 
dren, three sons, Edmund, Francis, and 
Bichard. Edmund and Francis had 
both been concerned in Sir Henry 
Dudley's conspiracy of 1556. Francis 
had been Elizabeth's servant when 
she was in confinement at Wood- 
stock, had been accused of tampering 
with a letter, and, according to Mr. 
Bye, had about as bad a name as any 
young gentleman of that day. Of 
Bichard nothing is certainly known; 
but in 1572, five years after the death 
of Canon Jackson's good knight, a 
Bichard Yarney was appointed to the 
marshal ship of the Bench for life. 
He died in November, 1575 ; on the 
fifteenth of the month Leicester wrote 
to beg Shrewsbury not to fill up the 
place "void by the death of Mr. 
Yarney." 

Let us now see what is the sum of 
this truth Canon Jackson claims to 
know. He knows that in 1559 Sir 
Ambrose Cave wrote a letter to 
Dudley recommending a Sir Bichard 
Yerney as a commissioner for the 
county of Warwick, and that in 1560 
a Bichard Yerney wrote a letter to 
Dudley about some hawks, which 
letter was sealed with the device now 

2 Sir Harry Verney, of Clay don, is the 
present head of this family, but not by direct 
descent. See the ' Verney Papers ' in the Cam- 
den Society, and Mr. Eye's pamphlet. 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



137 






borne by the Yerneys of Compton Ver- 
riey in Warwickshire. That is what he 
knows. What he does not know, or 
did not when he composed his pamph- 
let, is, that there was at the same 
time another Richard Yerney, one of 
a family of brothers of notoriously 
bad character, connected with Dudley 
by marriage, and in some way or an- 
other concerned in his affairs. Canon 
Jackson says the first Richard, of 
Warwickshire, is the man whose me- 
mory Sir Walter has defamed. Mr. 
Rye thinks the other Richard, of 
Buckinghamshire, is the man impli- 
cated by the author of * Leycester's 
Commonwealth ' in Lady Dudley's 
death. There is not a tittle of proof 
either way. 

When we come to Anthony Forster 
we get on firmer ground. We really 
know something about him. Possibly 
it is this comparative fulness of know- 
ledge that has so confused Canon 
Jackson as to cause him on the same 
page to place Forster's death in 1569 
and his election as member of parlia- 
ment for Abingdon in 1572. 1 Anthony 
came of a respectable Shropshire 
family. His wife was Anne, daughter 
of Reginald Williams, of Burghfield in 
Berkshire, the eldest brother of Lord 
Williams of Thame, Mary's Lord 
Chamberlain. He held Cumnor Place 
as tenant of Doctor Owen, one of 
Elizabeth's physicians, whose wife 
was present in the house at the time 
of Lady Dudley's death. In the 
following year, 1561, he bought the 
place from his landlord. In 1570 he 
was returned to parliament as member 
for Abingdon. In 1572 he died, and 
was, as has been already said, buried 
in Cumnor church. His tomb, an 
elaborate structure, is adorned with 
a long Latin epitaph, in which he is 
described as wise, eloquent, just, and 
charitable, learned in classic literature, 
in music, architecture, and botany ; in 
short, as a man possessed of every 
virtue and every accomplishment. 2 

1 See Mr. Rye's pamphlet, and the ' Nine- 
teenth Century' Magazine for March, 1882. 

2 See Mr. Pettigrew's 'Inquiry.' 



Moreover, he was, according to Canon 
Jackson, "highly esteemed as a most 
honest gentleman by his neighbours 
at Abingdon," and " was sometimes 
sent for by the University of Oxford 
to assist in settling matters of contro- 
versy." But it happens that in the 
correspondence between Blount and 
Dudley, which is the witness for 
"the most honest gentleman," there 
is also, though the Canon seems 
to have forgotten it, a particular 
allusion to Forster's unpopularity 
with his neighbours. Some of the 
jury, Blount says, are " verie 
enemies to Anthony Fforster " ; and 
again he assures Dudley they are 
certain to be careful in their inquiry, 
but, " whether equitie is the cause or 
mallice to Fforster do forbyd it, I 
knowe not." As for his great repute 
at the University, the sole instance of 
his connection with it is that his 
name appears as a companion of 
Henry Norris of Wytham, when the 
latter went, in 1562, to demand 
admission for Doctor Man, when the 
Catholic members of Merton College 
had shut the gates against their new 
Warden ; 3 which proves, if it prove 
nothing else, that he had abjured 
the faith of his fathers, and become, 
in all outward seeming at any rate, 
a zealous Protestant. That Forster 
was in some way a dependent of Dud- 
ley's is clear from a letter, found 
at Longleat, in which the latter gives 
the former orders concerning the pre- 
parations at Kenilworth for a visit 
from Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper 
of the Great Seal, signing himself, 
" Your loving master," and addressing 
the letter to "my loving servant." 

3 This is the Man who was sent as ambas- 
sador to Madrid, in return for Don Guzman da 
Silva's appointment to London. "Of which 
ambassadors," Anthony "Wood tells us, "Queen 
Elizabeth used merrily to say, that as her 
brother the King of Spain had sent to her a 
Goos-man, so she had sent to him a Man- 
goose." Man's subsequent conduct seems rather 
to have justified the royal jest. See Wood's 
'AthenseOxonienses,' i. 367 (ed. 1813), and his 
' History and Antiquities of the University of 
Oxford,' i. 285 a ; also Mr. Froude's ' History,' 
ix. 327. 



138 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



Also in a sarcastic paper on Leices- 
ter's qualifications to be the Queen's 
husband, Cecil notes, as a point in his 
favour, that he would enhance his 
particular friends to wealth and office, 
naming Forster and Appleyard as 
instances. 1 

Thus, separating the literal facts 
which history furnishes concerning Var- 
ney and Forster from the conjectures 
which, probable or otherwise, the an- 
tiquaries after their fashion would 
insist on our taking with equal serious- 
ness, how little appears our real know- 
ledge ! How certain also is it that our 
knowledge does not include a single 
proved fact which precludes the possi- 
bility of Yarney's and Forster's com- 
plicity in the death of their patron's 
wife. With the balance of conjecture 
we are not concerned. It has, we 
say again, no place in our present 
inquiry. 

Let us now turn to the circumstances 
of Lady Dudley's death, so far as they 
are really known. 

The date when the lady took up her 
residence at Cumnor cannot be fixed, 
but it cannot well have been before 
1560. Canon Jackson has made a 
great point of a paper found at 
Longleat from her to her tailor. It 
shows, he says, that she was " liberally 
supplied with the finery of the day," 
that there is at least " no sign of 
parsimony in her apparel," this last 
piece of evidence being considered by 
him so important as to deserve the 
distinction of italics. But who has 
said anything to the contrary 1 Cer- 
tainly not Sir Walter, as his novel 
stands most strenuously to testify. 
This, however, is beside the question. 
The whole business is, indeed, overlaid 
with so very much that is beside the 
question, that it is extremely difficult, 
even with the best intentions, to keep 
always clear of the pitfalls that beset 
our laborious steps. 

Elizabeth came to the throne in 
November, 1558. Early in the next 

1 See Mr. Fronde's ' History,' vii. 283 note, 
and Mr. Rye's pamphlet, both referring to the 
Hatfield Manuscripts. 



year rumours were abroad that she 
was likely to marry Robert Dudley, 
whenever his wife's death should leave 
him free for a second marriage. 
In May, 1559, De Feria, the Spanish 
minister in England, wrote to Philip, 
that he hears the Queen " is enamoured 
of my Lord Robert Dudley, and will 
never let him leave her side. ... It 
is even reported that his wife has a 
cancer on the breast, and that the 
Queen waits only till she die to marry 
him." Dudley had then been married 
to Amy Robsart nearly nine years, 
but no children had been born of the 
marriage. It is vain work trying to 
guess Elizabeth's real feelings, nor are 
we concerned with them. All that is 
certain, and all that is necessary for 
us to bear in mind, is, that from the 
time of the Queen's accession to the 
time of Lady Dudley's death, it was 
common talk, both in England and 
on the continent, that Lord Robert 
Dudley was one day to be the husband 
of the Queen of England. On the 
eleventh of September, 1560, De 
Quadra, then Spanish ambassador in 
London, sent off to the Duchess of 
Parma at Brussels a long account of a 
conversation he had held on the third 
of the month with Cecil. The secre- 
tary, who was then disgraced, owing, 
it was supposed, to Dudley's influence, 
after lamenting the Queen's folly and 
the injury she was doing to herself 
and the realm, said that " they were 
thinking of destroying Lord Robert's 
wife. They had given out that she 
was ill ; but she was not ill at all ; she 
was very well, and taking care not to 
be poisoned." The next day, that is 
on the fourth of September, four 
days before Lady Dudley's death, the 
Queen told the ambassador " that 
Lord Robert's wife was dead or nearly 
so, and begged me to say nothing about 
it. Assuredly it is a matter full of 
shame and infamy." And the letter 
concludes with a paragraph evidently 
penned in haste at the last moment : 
" Since this was written the death of 
Lord Robert's wife has been given out 
publicly. The Queen said in Italian, 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



139 



' Que si ha rotto il collo.' It seems 
that she fell down a staircase." x 

Dudley was then with the court at 
Windsor. The news of his wife's 
death was not generally known till 
the eleventh of September; but it is 
clear from his first letter to Blount, 
that on the ninth he was aware that 
something had happened at Cumnor. 
He at once sent off Blount to inquire ; 
but while Biount was still on the road, 
the news arrived at Windsor by a mes- 
senger named Bowes. Dudley remained 
quietly at Windsor, contenting himself 
with sending a letter after Blount, to 
the effect that he had learnt of his 
wife's death " by a fall from a pair 
of stayres," and praying his cousin 
earnestly to do all that he can to sift 
the matter to the bottom, and to. see 
that the coroner and the jury did their 
part likewise, " honorablie and duelie 
by all manner of examynacions." He 
said also that he had sent " for my 
brother Appleyarde, because he is her 
brother." Then Blount tells his tale. 
He had stayed his journey at Abing- 
don, to hear what the folk said. The 
landlord of his inn was discreet. He 
allowed that some people were dis- 
posed to say evil of the matter, but for 
his own part he would say no more 
than that it was a misfortune, because 
it had happened in Forster's house, 
and he had a good opinion of Forster. 
Next he reports a conversation with 
Pinto, Lady Dudley's maid. Pinto was 
vague, as is the wont of her class. She 
said she thought it " verie chance, 
and neither done by man nor by her- 
self ; " then owned that she had often 
heard her lady pray to God to deliver 
her from desperation ; and finally said 
that she meant to imply nothing. The 
most important, however, of Blount's 
news is that the servants had all been 
sent off to Abingdon fair early on the 
fatal day Sunday, the eighth of Sep- 
tember by Lady Dudley's own orders, 
leaving her alone with Mrs. Odingsell, 
a daughter of the Hyde whose seat in 
parliament Forster succeeded to, and 

1 See Mr. Froude's 'History,' vii. 277-81, 
also a note, p. 290 on the Simancas Manuscripts. 



Mrs. Owen, wife of Forster's landlord. 
Of Forster and his wife there is no word. 
The servants returned in the evening, 
to find their mistress lying dead in the 
hall. Nothing more is known. Of Mrs. 
Odingsell's evidence, or Mrs. Owen's, 
we have no record. There is no re- 
port of the proceedings at the inquest, 
nor of the verdict. The only autho- 
rity for the former is the correspond- 
ence between Dudley and Blount; 
we know, from various sources, that 
the latter, after a long and uneasy 
inquiry, was one of accidental death ; 
and that the public were not at all 
satisfied with the result. One or 
two other things have, however, to 
be noted. Mention has been made 
of one Appleyard, sent by Dudley to 
attend the inquest. John Appleyard 
was Amy's half brother. He was 
concerned in some way with the Dud- 
leys in the affair of Lady Jane Grey, 
after which he disappears till he turns 
up again at Cumnor. Seven years 
after the inquest, when the old rumour 
of the Queen's marriage with Dudley 
blazed out again, people began to 
revive the Cumnor scandal. Blount 
and Appleyard were both summoned 
before the Council, and notes of the 
latter's examination exist among the 
Hatfield manuscripts in Cecil's own 
handwriting. From these it appears 
that one of the witnesses swore that, 
" bringing answer from the Earl of 
Leicester to Appleyard that he could 
not help him in his requests as he 
desired, Appleyard used words of 
anger, and said amongst other things 
that he had for the Earl's sake 
covered the murder of his sister." 
Appleyard himself swore that he did 
not believe the Earl to be guilty, but 
" thought it an easy matter to find out 
the offender " ; he further swore that 
he had often pressed Dudley to let 
him take the matter up, but had been 
always refused on the ground that 
the jury thought otherwise, although 
at the time he made his request the 
verdict had not been given. Subse- 
quently Appleyard, lying in the Fleet 
prison, withdrew his words, and pro- 



140 



The Death of Amy Robsart. 



fessed himself satisfied with the ver- 
dict, a copy of which had at his own 
request been sent to him. Also, 
there exists in the same volume of 
manuscripts from which the famous 
correspondence was extracted, the 
fragment of an original letter from 
Blount to Dudley referring to this 
very examination. In this he much 
regrets that they could not have 
spoken together first. This letter ap- 
pears to be in Blount's own hand- 
writing ; it is at any rate in an 
earlier handwriting than the other 
letters. Mr. Froude thinks it pos- 
sible that the latter may be copies 
garbled for Blount to take before 
the Council. It is certainly pos- 
sible, but we are not just now deal- 
ing with possibilities. He also says 
that if Appleyard spoke truth there is 
no more to be said. Canon Jackson 
says very triumphantly that Apple- 
yard did not speak truth, because of 
his recantation, and because of a 
letter found at Longleat from Sir 
Henry Nevill to Sir John Thynne, in 
which Appleyard is said to have con- 
fessed before the Star-Chamber that 
he had spoken falsely and maliciously. 
But Canon Jackson must have read 
history somewhat dimly if he does 
not know that a man brought before 
the Council for speaking ill of a 
monarch's favourite was very apt to 
change his tone. But again there is 
no proof either way. Mr. Froude has 
really put the case in a nutshell : "If 
Appleyard spoke the truth, there is no 
more to be said." For close upon 
three hundred years the general 
opinion has been that Appleyard did 
speak the truth. 1 

Here, then, all our real knowledge of 
the case ends. That the shadow of his 
wife's death, as of so many other evil 
deeds, never passed away from Robert 
Dudley during his life, every one with 
the merest smattering of history knows ; 
that it has hung over his memory 
since, every one knows. That Messieurs 
Pettigrew, Adlard, and Jackson have 

1 Mr. Fronde's ' History of England,' vii. 
283-9. 



removed one jot or tittle of it, every 
one capable of distinguishing between 
proof and conjecture may, if he choose 
to read their evidence, know equally 
well. The suspicion may be cruelly 
unjust, but that is not the question. 
Lady Dudley may have taken her own 
life in a fit of despair, or have died by 
sheer accident ; but again, that is not 
the question. The charge of these 
gentlemen all as honourable as Brutus 
was, or as they wish to make Leicester 
and Forster and Yarney to have been 
is that Sir Walter has grossly falsi- 
fied history to the prejudice of honest 
men. Have they proved their charge ? 
That is the question. They have not 
proved it in a single instance. They 
have not proved that Lady Dudley 
was not put out of the way to further 
her husband's ambition ; nor that he 
was not at least a consenting party ; 
nor that Forster and Varney were 
not in some way or another partners 
in their patron's guilt, Where Sir 
Walter went wrong was known long 
before any one of them put pen 
to paper. Of all their more serious 
charges not one has been verified. 
They may conjecture, but so might 
Sir Walter. Like Lucetta, they may 
think it so, because they think it so ; 
but so might Sir Walter. He may be 
. altogether wrong, but so may they be. 
It is a sheer question of fact against 
theory. They have piled up tons of 
theories to mount up to Sir Walter's 
throne, but the little ounce of fact 
wanting to shake him down they have 
not found. The truth has never come 
to light, and in all human probability 
now it never will come. Mr. Petti- 
grew, it may be, has by this time 
learned it. But Mr. Adlard and 
Canon Jackson are with us still. Let 
us pray them, in all good meaning, to 
turn, not to ' Kenil worth ' again, but to 
another novel of Sir Walter's ; to turn 
to ' The Antiquary,' and from that de- 
lightful book to learn once more the 
lesson taught on the Kaim of Kin- 
prunes to all antiquaries, not to pub- 
lish their tracts till they have examined 
the thing to the bottom. 



141 



MRS. DYMOND. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 
IN AN EMPTY APARTMENT. 

THE house was at the corner of the 
boulevard and the Rue Lavoisier, near 
the mortuary chapel which Madame 
du Pare had once promised to visit 
with Susy. 

In this strange house, with the 
occasional roar and rush in the boule- 
vard close at hand, the hours passed 
like some strange nightmare ; so slowly, 
so long, so stifling in their silent 
oppression, that Susy could scarcely 
believe that another hour was gone 
when the gilt clock struck. The 
apartment belonged to unknown people 
who had fled hastily, leaving their 
clothes and their possessions in confu- 
sion ; shoes and papers, packing cases 
half packed, a parcel of silver spoons 
lying on the table. The linen cup- 
boards were open, with the neat 
piles disordered and over-turned ; the 
clocks were going, but the beds were 
not made. At first Susy set to work 
straightening, making order in the 
confusion, preparing a room for herself, 
and another for Jo in caso ho should 
arrive. She swept and folded and 
put away, and made the rooms ready 
for the night. She put by a lady's 
smart bonnet, a child's pair of little 
boots. Had she been in any mood 
to do so, she might have pieced to- 
gether the story of those to whom 
the home belonged ; but she was 
dull, wearied out, only wanting news 
of Jo. As Mrs. Dymond worked 011 
the time passed ; then, when the work 
was done, when she had established 
herself in one of the two bedrooms, 
when all was straight, and the linen 
piled afresh and the doors of the 
cupboard closed, though the clocks 
still ticked on, time itself seemed to 



stop. She was quite alone now, neither 
Jo nor Adolphe rejoined her, nor did 
Max come as he had promised. 

The rest of the house was also 
empty ; the concierge was down below 
in his lodge, but except for him 
no one remained in the sunny tall 
building lately so alive, so closely 
packed. 

" There was one lady still remaining 
of all the inhabitants," the concierge 
said, " an English lady a dame de 
charite, who would not leave her 
poor ; but she was gone away for a 
day to visit a sick friend." 

Susy went down stairs towards 
evening to ask if no letter had come 
for her. She even went out, at the 
porter's suggestion, bareheaded, as 
people do in France, and bought some 
milk and some food from an adjoining 
shop, and then came back to the silent 
place. 

It was a most terrible experience; 
one which seemed so extraordinary 
that Mrs. Dymond could hardly believe 
that it was not all some dream from 
which she would presently awake. 
She waited till long past midnight on 
her bed, and fell asleep at last ; but 
towards four o'clock the sound of the 
cannon at Montmartre awoke her, and 
she sat up on the bed listening with a 
beating heart. There was a crucifix 
at the foot of the bed ; in her natural 
terror and alarm it seemed to her that 
the figure on the crucifix looked up in 
the early dawn. There was a picture 
beneath the crucifix of a Madonna 
with a burning heart. A longing, an 
unutterable longing came to poor 
Susanna for her own mother Mary's 
tender, comforting, loving arms round 
her own aching heart surely it was on 
fire too. How lonely she felt, how 
deserted. Max might have come 



142 



Mrs. Dymond. 



last night, as he promised. It seemed 
to Susy that she understood now for 
the first time what the secret of Mary 
Marney's life had been ; a secret that 
Susy herself had learnt so unwillingly, 
so passionately, so late in life's experi- 
ence. If she had had any one to speak 
to, everything might have seemed less 
vaguely terrible. As she was listen- 
ing with a beating heart came a 
sound from without, that of a drum 
beating with a measured yet hur- 
ried roll ; the rattle came closer and 
closer, and finally stopped under her 
very window. She started from the 
bed and ran and looked out. The 
dawn had just touched the opposite 
houses, another shutter opened, then 
a door creaked, and a man ran out 
hastily buttoning his clothes ; then a 
second stood in the door-way in shirt- 
sleeves, but he did not move. Then 
the drum rolled away again, and with 
two men only following, passed down 
the street to the boulevard. The 
sound came fainter and more hopeless. 
Then the distant cannon began to boom 
again, and some carts with soldiers 
galloped by. 

Susy stood helplessly looking from 
her window. Already the inhabitants 
of Paris were awake, and receiving 
the sun, as it at last dispelled the 
heavy morning fogs, with loud cries of 
" Vive la Republique" Drink was 
being distributed among the National 
Guards assembled in the Place de 
I'Hotel de Yille. Many of the bewildered 
soldiers, who had been poured into the 
town all the preceding days, were look- 
ing on and sharing in these festivities. 
Others, who had been out all night, 
were still wandering about the streets 
asking the passers-by where they were 
to go for shelter. A band of armed 
patriots, crossing the Place de la Con- 
corde, were shouting out "A Versailles /" 
with the same enthusiasm with which 
their predecessors had cried " A Ber- 
lin/" a few months before. Others, 
whom they met along the road, take 
up the cry ; the women assembling in 
the streets and doorways were utter- 
ing fiercer, vaguer threats of vengeance 



against tyrants, against Versailles, and 
the police, and, indeed, before many 
hours had passed the first of their un- 
happy victims was being hunted to his 
death along the Rue des Martyrs. 
Alas ! he was but the first of the 
many who were to follow, and whose 
nobler blood was destined to flow upon 
those cruel stones. 

Reading the papers of those days we 
see that an imposing deputation was 
preparing to visit the Place de la Bas- 
tille, carrying a red Phrygian flag 
before it; that the new self-elected 
government was gloriously proclaiming 
the " Perfect Unity, and Liberty entire 
and complete," of which we have al- 
ready heard so much ; that the people 
of Paris had shaken off the despotism 
which had sought to crush it to the 
ground. " Calm and impassive in its 
force, it was standing (so say Bill- 
coray, Varlin, Jourde, Ch. Lullier, 
Blanchet, Pougeret, &c., &c.) and in- 
contestably proving a patriotism equal 
to the height of present circum- 
stances." 

What were all these echoes to Susy 
at her window, looking out with her 
heavy anxious heart ? Jo ! Max ! where 
were they 1 ? what were they about? 
Ah ! would these terrible hours never 



She dressed very early, lit a fire, 
and prepared a meal with the tin of 
milk which she had bought the day 
before. It was an unutterable relief 
to hear the door-bell ring about eight 
o'clock in the morning. She found 
the concierge outside bringing up 
water from the pump below, and a 
note which had been left very early in 
the morning before he was up. Susy 
tore it open. The note was in Max's 
writing ; it had no beginning nor 
date, but its news was fresh life to 
poor Susy. It was in English. "I 
have tidings of Jo. Marney, by good 
fortune, heard of him, and sent me 
word. He is in custody, and I have 
gone after him, and hope to bring 
him back safe to you. Meet us to- 
day at one o'clock at the Station, by 
which you came. Adolphe will come 



Mrs. Dymond. 



143 



and conduct you safely there. M. DU 
P." 

Susy burst into tears of relief, and 
sank into a chair. The concierge 
looked on compassionately at la 
petite dame as he called her, car- 
ried his pails into the kitchen, and 
returned on tiptoe, so as to show his 
friendly sympathy. How the morning 
passed Mrs. Dymond could scarcely 
have told ; at twelve o'clock Adolphe 
appeared with a porter's knot upon 
his strong shoulders to carry her bag 
and her parcel of shawls. He had 
been vexed to fail her the night before ; 
he was coming off when a messenger 
from du Pare had met him with a 
parcel of letters, which he had been 
obliged to deliver. He had been about 
till one o'clock at night. " It was a 
real corvee" said Adolphe. 

" But it was apparently in your 
service, madame," said he, politely. 
" It is necessary in these days to make 
one's plans beforehand, and if people 
won't agree to reason, you must use 
a little compulsion." 

Susy did not understand very well 
what he was saying. She walked by 
his side, questioning him about Max 
and Jo. He could tell her very little, 
except that du Pare had sent him 
on these errands. As they were walk- 
ing along, side by side, suddenly a 
quiet-looking woman in a white cap 
and black dress crossed the street, and 
came up and caught Susy by the hand. 

" Oh ! " she said, " why do you stay 
here? You are English. What do 
you do here? It is not your home. 
Go home, go home ; you don't know 
what dangers are about you here." 
Then she pushed Susy, and hurried on 
wildly. 

" Curious woman," says Adolphe, 
imperturbably. " She is not so far 
wrong. Come, madame, we must not 
be too late. There don't seem to be 
many people left anywhere," he said, 
looking about him. 

" How strangely empty the streets 
are," said Mrs. Dymond. "The rail- 
way place is quite deserted, and the 
station, too, looks shut." 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

AT THE TERMINUS. 

THE station was shut, the doors and 
windows seemed closely barred, but 
as they looked they saw a side-door 
which was held cautiously ajar. 
Adolphe kicked with his foot, and in 
a minute they were let in. . . Within 
was a strange scene of crowded con- 
fusion and excitement baggage in 
piles, people in groups clinging toge- 
ther, women wringing their hands and 
weeping, men gesticulating. In one 
of the waiting-rooms there was a 
crowd round a wounded man, in 
another a woman in hysterics. 

" Did you see nothing ? " cried half 
a dozen voices as Susy entered, follow- 
ing Adolphe. 

" We saw nothing at all ; we met 
nobody anywhere," said he. "What is 
the matter with you all? " 

Then they were told by a dozen voices 
of a fight which had taken place only 
a few minutes before in the open 
place outside the station. Some of the 
Federal prisoners were being brought 
up to the station to be taken to 
Versailles to be judged. It was a 
grave affair. They were accused of 
participation in the murder of the 
generals. The Federals had made a 
desperate attempt to deliver their 
men from the hands of the escort. 
The escort had driven off the attack, 
and fought its way into the station. 
The prisoners were all now safely 
shut up in the railway carriages and 
doubly guarded ; the Federals had re- 
treated whether for good, or whether 
they had only gone for reinforcements, 
it was impossible to say. Adolphe's 
face fell, though he tried to look 
pleased. 

" They are all on a wrong scent," 
cries a man in his shirt- sleeves. "They 
have got hold of Papa Caron among 
others who never touched a Hy. I saw 
the man who struck down Clement 
Thomas. I should know him again. 
He is not one of these. The old man 
was lying on the ground ; they struck. 



144 



Mrs. Dymond. 



him down with the butt-end of their 
guns." 

There was a murmur of horror all 
round, as the narrator, a natural dra- 
matist, as most Frenchmen are, threw 
up his arms and re-acted the dreadful 
scene. Susy turned sick with horror. 

"Your train will be starting in 
about ten minutes/' Adolphe was 
beginning to say, when suddenly his 
tone changes. " Take care ! take 
care ! this way, madame," cries 
Adolphe, suddenly thrusting himself 
before her. " Up! up! on the seat ! " 

With a sudden cry the crowd began 
to sway, to fly in every direction ; 
the great centre door of the station 
trembled under the blows which were 
being struck from without. There 
was a brief parley from a window, a 
man standing on a truck began to 
shout 

"Let them in ! They want to deliver 
the prisoners ! They will hurt nobody." 

A woman close by screamed and 
fainted. As Susy was stooping and 
helping to pull her up upon the bench 
the two great folding doors suddenly 
burst open, letting in the light, and a 
file of Federal soldiers marching in 
step and military order. Adolphe, 
who had thrust Susy into a corner of 
the salle, now helped to raise the faint- 
ing woman, with Susy's assistance, as 
she stood on the bench out of the rush 
of the crowd, while Adolphe and his 
hotte made a sort of rampart before 
them. 

" Don't be frightened," he said, " no 
one will fight ; the prisoners' escort 
will see it is no use making a stand 
against such numbers. Parclie, they 
are off ! " he cried excitedly, for as he 
spoke the engine outside gave a shrill 
whistle and started off upon the lines. 
Susy, from her place by the window, 
could see the train slowly steaming out 
of the station. There was a wild shout 
from the spectators. What was it that 
Susy also saw through the barred 
window by which she stood (half a 
dozen other heads below were crowd- 
ing against the panes which looked to 
the platform) 1 She saw a figure, surely 



it was familiar to her, it could be none 
other than Max who was flying down 
the lines to the signal posts, and in 
another minute the train, still snorting 
and puffing, began to slacken speed, 
then finally stopped, then backed, then 
stopped again. 

" The danger signals are all up. 
They don't dare advance ! " cried some 
of the men at the window. 

" That is it, bien trouve. Look out, 
madame. What do you see ? " cried 
Adolphe eagerly from below. 

Meanwhile the detachment of Fede- 
rals, still in good order, still advancing, 
came on, lining the centre of the hall, 
spreading out through the door on to 
the side of the platform along which the 
Versailles train had started. There was 
a second platform on the other side of 
the station from which Susy's own 
train to Rouen and Havre was also 
making ready to start. It was curious 
to note how methodically common life 
went on in the midst of these scares 
and convulsions. Suddenly Susy, with 
a sinking, sickening heart, realised that 
the moment for her own time of de- 
parture had almost come ; again she 
thought of Max's note and of its 
promise. Alas ! alas ! it was not 
carried out no Jo was there. If 
she went, she must go alone ! It 
was all too rapid for her to formulate 
either her fear or her hope. Pre- 
sently there was a fresh stir among 
the crowd, and a functionary's voice 
was heard shouting "Passengers for 
Rouen and Havre en voiture I " 

" You see it is all right ! ". said 
Adolphe, cheerfully. " You had better 
go, madame ; I will wait here in case 
your son should come, to send him 
after you. He is big enough to 
travel alone," said the young man, 
nodding to reassure her, though he 
looked very pale, and his face belied 
his words. 

She was in utter perplexity ; she 
knew not what to do what to deter- 
mine ; of one thing and one only was 
she sure, Max had promised to find Jo, 
to save him, and he would keep his word. 
Yes ! it would be better to go on ; her 



Mrs. Dymond. 



145 



presence was but an incumbrance ; 
Max could help Jo; that much she 
knew ; what could she do but add to 
their perplexities. The fainting woman" 
was already revived as Susy sprang 
down from the bench with Adolphe's 
help, and as she did so she heard 
another shout, a loud cheer. The crowd 
swayed. Between the ranks of the 
soldiers came the triumphant proces- 
sion of Federals with their red scarves, 
returning from the platform, and at 
the head of it Caron borne in triumph 
on some of his own workmen's 
shoulders. Half-a-dozen liberated pri- 
soners were marching after him, 
shouting wildly and tossing hats and 
handkerchiefs. 

Caron, who had been a prisoner 
among the rest, was smiling, undis- 
turbed and quiet as ever, and bowing 
and softly waving his hat. To be safe 
mattered little to him, but his heart 
was overflowing with grateful pride 
and pleasure at the manner of his 
release ; the rally of his friends, the 
determination with which his work- 
men had united to defend him against 
his enemies filled his heart with 
peaceful content. 

Mrs. Dymond, speechless, open-eyed, 
was still looking after him with 
breathless interest and surprise, when 
her own turn came, her own release 
from cruel suspense. A hand was laid 
on her shoulder, she was hugged in 
two strong arms and fairly lifted off 
the ground, and Jo, grinning, delighted, 
excited and free, was by her side once 
more. 

" I am going back with you, Mrs. 
Dymond," said he; "it's all right. 
I've got my return ticket." 

" He has given us trouble enough ! " 
cries Max, coming up behind him 
breathless and excited too. "For 
heaven's sake carry him off at once 
now you have got him. It is time you 
were in the train. The troops may be 
upon us again." 

" I was safe all through," said Jo, 
" but we know, Mrs. Dymond, Caron 
has enemies. Lucky for us, Max 
remembered the danger signals." 

No. 314. VOL. LIU. 



All the time Jo spoke du Pare was 
hurrying Susanna along towards the 
platform from which the Rouen train 
was starting. It was approached by a 
turnstile, where they were met by an 
excited functionary who let Jo and 
his return ticket through the turnstile, 
but angrily opposed the passage of 
Adolphe and the parcels. It was no 
use waiting to discuss the matter ; 
the man was terribly excited, and 
time was pressing. 

" Take the bag and find some places," 
Max cried, handing the things over the 
barrier to Jo. 

Susy paused for one minute. " Good- 
bye, Adolphe," she said ; " I shall never 
forget your kindness never, never." 
Then she raised her eyes, looking 
steadily into du Fare's face. All the 
passing flush of success was gone from 
it. He was drawing his breath 
heavily ; he looked anxious, harassed. 
Susy, too, was very pale, and she held 
by the wooden barrier. 

" I I can't leave you in this hor- 
rible place," she said passionately. 
" How can I say good-bye ? " and as 
she spoke she burst into uncontrol- 
lable tears. 

He took her in his arms, then and 
there, before them all who cared ? 
who had time to speculate upon their 
relations ? 

" I shall come to you ; don't say 
good-bye," he said ; " we are not part- 
ing," and he held her close and 
breathless to his beating heart, and 
then in a moment more he had put 
her away with gentle strength, and 
pushed her through the gate. The 
wooden turnstile was between them, 
his pale face was immediately lost in 
the sway of the crowd ; she found 
herself roughly hurried along ; thrust 
into the first open carriage. Jo leapt 
in after her; the door was banged. 
There were other people in the car- 
riage some sobbing, some talking 
incoherently, all excited, exasperated, 
incoherent. "C'est trop ! c'est trop ! 
c'est trop ! " one man was shrieking 
over and over again. "I can bear 
no more. I am going yes, I am 

L 



146 



Mrs. Dymond. 



going ! " Another young fellow "sat 
with his face in his hands, sobbing. 
Jo was very silent, and sat for a long 
time staring at his fellow travellers. 
It was not till they reached Rouen, 
and the reassuring German helmets 
came round about the carriage win- 
dows asking what had happened in 
Paris, that he began to talk to Susy 
that he gave her any details of his 
escape and his captivity. He had 
met Caron that morning after he 
left them at the villa, and was 
walking with him from the station, 
when they were both suddenly ar- 
rested, with a young man who had 
only joined them a few minutes before. 
They were not allowed a word. They 
were hurried off, and all three locked 
up in a guard-house, where they were 
kept during the two days. Late on the 
afternoon of the second day they were 
moved to a second corps de garde. On 
their way from one place to another 
they fortunately passed Marney in 
the street. "I shouted to him," said 
Jo, " for I knew he would let you 
know, and I knew he had been at 
work, when Caron received a message 
through one of the soldiers they were 
most of them half Federals that we 
.were to be rescued. I don't think 
he or I were in very much danger," Jo 
added, " but the third man had been a 
soldier, and would have been shot, so 
Caron told me afterwards. He was a 
fine fellow half an Englishman ; they 
called him Russell, or some such name." 

" Oh ! Jo, I have got you safe," said 
Susy, beginning to cry again. " I can't 
think I can't speak I can't feel 
any more." 

"Why should you? " said Jo, prac- 
tically. " Give me your ticket, for 
fear you should lose it," and then he 
settled himself comfortably to sleep in 
his corner, smiled at her, and pulled 
down the blind. Susy could not rest ; 
she sat mechanically watching the 
green plains and poplar trees flying 
past the window. She was nervously 
unhinged by the events of the last two 
days ; the strain had been very great. 
She longed to get back to silence, to 



home, to the realisation of that one 
moment of absolute relief. She felt 
as if she could only rest again with 
'Phraisie in her arms, only thus bear 
the renewed suspense, the renewed 
anxiety. But she knew at the same 
time, with grateful, indescribable relief, 
that her worst trouble was even over 
now, though prison bars, distance, a 
nation's angry revenge, lay between 
her and that which seemed so great 
a portion of her future life. 

They reached home on the evening 
of the second day. The carriage was 
waiting at the station with Phraisie 
in it. The drive did Susy good after 
all these tragic, distorted days, during 
which she had been living this double 
life. Little Phraisie in her arms was 
her best comforter, her best peace- 
maker. A gentle wind blew in her 
face, a gentle evening burnt away in 
quiet gleams, the sky was so grey, so 
broken ; the soft golden gates of the 
west were opening wide, and seemed 
to call to weary spirits to enter into 
the realms of golden peace. The 
hedges on either side were white with 
the garlands of spring. The dogs, who 
had been set loose, came barking to 
meet them, as the wheels turned in at 
the familiar home gates. The servants 
appeared eager to welcome. Jo 
silently gave the reins into the coach- 
man's hand, and sprang down and 
handed out his stepmother with some- 
thing of his father's careful courtesy. 
Little Phraisie woke up bright, 
delighted to be in her mother's arms 
once more and at home ; she went run- 
ning from room to room. It was home, 
Susy felt, and not only home but a 
kind tender home, full of a living past, 
with a sense of the kindness that was 
not dead. 

Phraisie was put to bed ; dinner 
was laid in the library for the 
young man and his stepmother. Jo 
sat still silent, revolving many things 
in his mind. From a stripling he had 
grown to be a man in the last few 
weeks. His expedition, his new ex- 
perience, Tempy's marriage, his own 
responsibility all these things had 



Mrs. Dymond. 



147 



sobered him, and made him realise the 
importance of the present, of conduct, 
of other people's opinion. 

"Here we are beginning our life 
together again, Mrs. Dymond," said he 
at last. " We get on very well, don't 
we?" 

"Yery well, dear Jo," Susy said, 
smiling, " until some one who has more 
right to be here than I have comes to 
live at the Place." 

" What are you talking about !" says 
Jo, blushing up. "I don't mean to 
marry for years to come, if that is what 
you mean." 

"Ah, my dear," said Susy, with 
some emotion, "make no promises; 
you do not know; you cannot foretell. 
One can never foretell." 

He looked hard at her. He guessed 
that Susy had not come back to them 
as she went away. She turned a little 
pale when she saw his eyes fixed upon 
her. It seemed to her as if her story 
must be written in her face. She 
might have told him she need not 
have been ashamed but she felt as df 
his father's son was no proper con- 
fidant. 

Long after Jo had gone to bed she 
sat by the dying fire, living over and 
over those terrible days, those strange 
momentous hours. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
CAEON. 

WE must refer those of our readers 
who take any interest in the subse- 
quent adventures of Max and his 
contemporaries to the pages of the 
Daily Velocipede for some account of 
those days which followed Susy's de- 
parture from Paris. Marny's eloquent 
pen, dipped in dynamite and gun- 
powder, flashing with flame and sen- 
sation, became remarked beyond the 
rest, and brought readers by hundreds 
to his paper. He was everywhere, 
saw everything, so graphic were his 
descriptions, so minute, so full of 
enthusiasm, that it was impossible for 
more experienced newspaper readers 
than Susy to say how much he wrote 



from his own observation, or what 
hearsay legends he translated into his 
own language, which, whatever its 
merits or demerits, did not lack in 
vividness. Susy scanned the columns 
day by day with anxious eyes for more 
and more news. She found so much 
that she was almost bewildered by it, 
and scarcely knew what to believe ; as 
for direct intelligence of Max, scarcely 
any came to her, though Madame sent 
letters from time to time from her 
farm at Avignon. But Madame' s 
letters chiefly described her olive 
trees, her cow, her pig, her eggs, 
and her tomatoes. Max delayed ; he 
did not rejoin her as she had hoped he 
might have done ; he left her to do it 
all, to engage the man, to contract 
with the hotels for her eggs and butter. 
Susy wrote to Madame from time to 
time, telling her about little Phraisie 
and the two boys, who were doing well 
at their school. In one letter Susy 
also described a domestic event, of 
which the news had reached Tarndale 
soon after her return from Paris. 
Uncle Peregrine Bolsover had died 
suddenly from the effects of a snake 
bite. He had left no will, but Charlie 
became undisputed heir to the Bolsover 
estates, and Uncle Bob now transferred 
to him the allowance which Peregrine 
had hitherto enjoyed ; but this news 
did not interest Madame du Pare in 
the least. *The price of butter had 
fallen, and her mind was preoccupied 
by more present contingencies. 

As the events multiplied in France, 
as the storms raged more and more 
fiercely, those who had remained, hop- 
ing to stem the waves, felt every day 
more helpless ; the sea was too rough, 
the evil blasts too high what voice 
could be heard ? What orders could 
prevail? Captains and leaders were 
powerless now. For the first time 
Caron lost courage and confidence. The 
murder of the hostages seemed like a 
death blow to the dear old man who 
could not believe in the wickedness of 
men whom he had trusted and lived 
with all his threescore years, during 

L 2 



148 



Mrs. Dymond. 



which he himself, though he did not 
know it, had been as a hostage for 
good and for truth among the angry 
and the ignorant people. He moped, 
his blue eyes were dim, his steps were 
slow. Max hardly recognised him one 
day when he met him coming out of 
his own doorway in the Rue de Bac. 
He was carrying some letters to a 
post-office hard by ; he seemed glad to 
take du Fare's strong arm. 

" I am tired ; I feel ill," he said. 
" I feel disgraced and utterly ashamed ; 
this is no liberty, no republic any 
more. This is tyranny, monstrous 
wickedness ; these crimes of the 
brutal ignorant have only the excuse 
of ignorance. If I, if others before 
me, had done our simplest duty in 
life, such blank ignorance would not 
now exist." 

Max felt his heart sore for his old 
friend. He himself had hoped less of 
his fellow-creatures ; he was more 
angry and less crushed than Caron. 

"If these brutes had listened to 
your teaching," he said, trying to 
cheer him, " and to that of sensible 
men, it might have all turned differ- 
ently. They will still have to learn 
before they can cease to be brutes." 

" I have no more strength to teach." 
said Caron. " Max, do you know that 
I have left you all all my theories, 
my failures, my ineptitudes, my reali- 
ties, mes cheres verites," he said. " You 
must make the best use you can of 
it all. You can ask for the memoranda 
and papers. I gave them to your 
friend, la douce Susanne. They will 
be for you and your children, my dear 
son. If you escape from this terrible 
catastrophe, go to her. I think that 
with her you will find happiness." 

Max, greatly touched, pressed his 
old friend's arm. " One can scarcely 
look forward," he said, "from one 
hour to another, but you have guessed 
rightly ; if happier times ever come for 
me, they could only be with her." 

Car on' s eyes lighted up. 

" That is well," he said, with a 
bright smile. Then, giving him the 
letters, "I had been about to post 



them," he said. " Will you leave 
them for me ? They will be safer if 
they go by hand. You have done me 
good," he added. " I shall return home- 
quietly." 

Max left him at the turn of the 
street. 

Is it chance, is it solemn fatality 
by what name is one to call that flash 
of fate suddenly falling upon men as 
they journey on their way, which falls, 
without warning, irrevocable, undreamt 
of, rending the veil of life for ever ? 

While Caron turned slowly home- 
wards to his quiet study, where old 
Madelaine was at work against his 
return, a mad crowd had gathered in 
an adjoining street, and was pursuing 
with cruel rage a wretched victim who 
flew along a narrow alley, and came 
rushing across the pavement upon 
which Caron was walking. 

The victim, a gendarme, torn, 
wounded, bleeding in the temples, 
ran straight against Caron, and fell 
helpless at his knees, pursued by the 
yelling mob. 

The old man seemed suddenly roused 
to a young man's strength of indigna- 
tion, and flung himself before the 
victim. 

" Stop I " he cried to the mob. 
"What are you doing] I am Caron. 
You know me. Let this man pass ! " 

For a moment, startled by his voice, 
his fearless, commanding look, they 
hung back ; but out of the crowd a 
huge, half drunk communist came 
striding up, and putting out his hand 
with a tipsy chuckle tried to pull for- 
ward the poor fainting wretch. 

Caron pulled an official scarf from 
his pocket, and holding it up in his 
left hand, struck the man in the face 
with it. 

" That man is drunk," Caron cried, 
appealing to the crowd ; " and you, 
people you let yourselves be led by 
such as he?" 

The people looked at the scarf, hesi- 
tated, began to murmur and make 
way, but the drunken leader, still 
chuckling and stupid, seized the 
miserable victim again. 



Mrs. Dymond. 



149 



"Let him go, I tell you," said 
Caron. "It is the will of the 
people." 

" Silence ! or I shoot you too ! " cried 
the brute, pulling out a pistol, and 
aiming it at the fainting heap upon 
the pavement. 

With the natural impulse of one so 
generous, the old man sprang forward 
to turn the arm, but he was too late. 
The pistol went off, and Caron fell 
back, silent, indeed, and for ever. 

The murderer, half -sobered, stood 
with his pistol confronting them all, as 
Caron had done a moment before, and 
then began to back slowly. The crowd 
wavered, and suddenly dispersed. 

" Silence ! " cry the blasphemers to 
those who from generation to genera- 
tion, by love, by work, by their very 
being, testify to the truth. And the 
good man dies in his turn, but the 
truth he loved lives on. "There is 
neither speech nor language : but their 
voices are heard among them, their 
sound is gone out into all lands : and 
their words into the ends of the 
world." 

Susanna was spared the shock of 
reading this cruel story in the paper. 
Marney wrote to her, telling her of 
the event as he had heard it, simply, 
and without the comments he after- 
wards added in print. 

To the papers this was but an 
incident in those awful times ; the 
readers of M. Maxime du Camp's ter- 
rible volumes will find many and many 
such noted there ; they will also find 
an episode curiously like one in which 
Max du Pare was (according to the 
Daily Velocipede) concerned, and which 
happened during the last of those 
terrible nights in which the flames 
raged and fought on the tide of madness 
in furious might and irresponsibility. 
" Was this the end of it of the visions 
of that gentle old teacher of a gospel 
which was for him, and not for 
frenzied demons and desperate mad- 
men 1 " thought Max, as he tried a 
short cut across the Carrousel, round 
which the flames were leaping madly. 



The gate into the Tuileries, by which 
he had come with Susanna once, was 
closed : he had to turn back and fight 
his way along the crowds and the 
ramparts of the Rue de Rivoli again, 
to the Ministere de la Marine, whither 
he was bound. Some weeks before, 
Caron's influence had appointed Max 
to some subordinate place under the 
Commune in the Ministere de la 
Marine. In his first natural fury 
and grief at his old friend's death, 
du Fare's first impulse had been to 
wash his hands of the whole thing, 
the guilt and the wicked confusion, 
and to come away with the rest ; then 
came the remembrance of that life- 
long lesson of forbearance and tena- 
city ; that strange sense which some 
men call honour only awoke; that will 
which keeps men at their guns, 
fighting for an unworthy cause in 
the front of an overwhelming force. 
Was it also some feeling of honest 
trust in himself which impelled Caron's 
disciple to stand to his post? He 
remained ; protesting, shrewdly 
using every chance for right. He had 
been to the Central Committee now to 
protest in vain against the destruction 
of the building; it was full of sick 
people. He represented the lower 
rooms were used as hospital wards. 
" The sick people must be moved," 
yelled the chiefs ; the fiat had gone 
forth. The Yersaillais had reached 
the Rondpoint of the Champs Elysees ; 
they should find Paris a heap of 
charred remains before they entered 
her streets. 

Max got back through the wild 
Saturnalia of the streets, where dis- 
hevelled women were dancing round 
the flames, and men, yelling and drunk- 
en, were howling out that the last day 
had come ; he reached the Ministere 
at last, to find that a band of men 
were smearing the walls and stair- 
cases with petroleum, in readiness for 
the firing ; while down below, with 
infinite pains and delays, the sick were 
being slowly moved from their shelter 
into the street. In vain the com- 
munists swore and raged at the 



150 



Mrs. Dymond. 



delay ; slowly, and more slowly, did 
the doctor and his nurses get through 
their arduous work. Max saw at a 
glance what was in their minds to 
delay long enough was to save the 
place, for the Yersaillais were within 
a quarter of an hour's march, and 
once they were there all danger would 
be over. " Good God ! " said the poor 
doctor in an undertone, wiping his 
perspiring brow ; " why don't they 
come on I Will they wait till Dooms- 
day i" 

Max shrugged his shoulders as he 
went on, looking in for a moment at 
the band of incendiaries sitting 
gloomily drinking in a small room or 
office, where they were awaiting their 
summons, and the news that the hos- 
pital wards were evacuated. 

Du Pare climbed on, and went and 
stood upon a flat terrace on the roof, 
from which he could see the heavens 
alight with the lurid glare of the 
flames now bursting from every side. 
To the right the Rue Royale was 
burning ; to the left, on the other side 
of the waters, which repeated the 
flames, the whole of the Rue de Lille 
was in a blaze. Close at hand the 
offices of the Finance were burning \ 
the Tuileries were an ocean of flame. 
At his feet was the Place de la Con- 
corde, silent, deserted, covered with 
wrecks, with broken statues and 
monuments ; beyond the Place de la 
Concorde lay the sombre green of the 
Champs Ely sees, showing here and 
there some faintly twinkling bivouac 
fire. 

Suddenly, as he looked, his brain 
reeled, then he put his hands to his 
head, and tears came into his eyes and 
seemed to save him. The clock below 
struck the hour ; for a moment he 
hesitated, then his resolution was 
taken. He made certain observations, 
and down the stairs by which he had 
come hurried back. When he reached 
the door of the room where the Com- 
munists were still sitting, he passed 
his fingers through his hair ; he tore 
open his shirt ; he had deliberately 
smeared his hands in some black 



cinders lying in a heap on the roof, 
and with his fingers he now blackened 
his face, and flinging violently open 
the door, hurried in, crying out the 
terrible pass-word of those sad times, 
" We are betrayed ! We are betrayed ! 
The Yersaillais are upon us; they 
have surrounded us. Stop not ; that 
way I will lead you," he cried, as the 
men rose half scared, half drunk, look- 
ing for an exit. "Follow me," he 
cried, flying up the stairs once more, 
and turning by the upper passages to 
the lofts and back garrets, he left 
them, promising to return. Shutting 
a heavy door upon them, he double- 
locked them in. When he hurried 
down to the ground floor, he found 
that three wounded men only were 
lying on the ground, ready to be car- 
ried out. 

" You can take your time," he said 
to the doctor ; " the incendiaries are 
up stairs, under lock and key." 

The doctor immediately gave the 
word to his assistants, and the 
wounded, who had been carried out 
with infinite pain and patience, were 
now brought back again, and were 
there in their places when the Yer- 
saillais marched in an hour later. 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

IN A TOY SHOP. 

WHEN the flames were extinguished, 
when the great panic was subsiding, 
then came the day of reprisals, and 
the unhappy Parisians, who, after en- 
during so much with patience, had 
broken out in their madness, now fell 
under the scourge once more. Perhaps 
nothing during the war, not even the 
crazed monstrosities of the desperate 
commune, has ever been more heart- 
breaking to hear of than the accounts 
of the cold-blooded revenge of the 
Yersaillais. 

Again we must refer our readers to 
the Daily Velocipede, in the columns 
of which Max was reported to be 
among the condemned prisoners, but 
Susy was surprised and reassured 
by an ambiguous letter, which reached 



Mrs. Dymond. 



151 



her at Crowbeck Place, from no less 
well-informed a person than Mr. Bag- 
ginal of the English embassy. 

" I have executed your commission," 
so it began. (Susy had not given Mr. 
Bagginal any commission, and she 
turned the letter over in some sur- 
prise.) " I am sending you the photo- 
graphs of the ruins and of Paris, that 
you wished for in its present changed 
aspect. I hope also to have some pen- 
and-ink etchings to forward at the same 
time. They are by our companion of 
last year, who has been doing some 
very good work lately, though he 
complains of the light of his present 
studio ; he hopes, however, to be able 
to remove before long to some more 
commodious quarters. If you should 
like any more of the drawings, you can 
always order them from a toy-shop in 
the Brompton Road, which I believe 
you and Miss Phraisie are sometimes 
in the habit of patronising. Pray pre- 
sent my compliments to that young 
lady, and tell her I shall bring over 
some bonbons when I next come. They 
are making them now of chocolate, in 
the shape of cannon balls and of shells, 
filled with vanille creams, which I as- 
you are excellent. Believe me, 
Mrs. Dymond, always most 
Faithfully yours, 

" C. E. BAGGINAL." 

The photographs arrived by the 
lext post, and with them a sketch of 
the well-remembered studio in the 
lla,. and another very elaborately- 
ished drawing of a dark box-room 
Mr. Bagginal's lodgings, where the 
artist must have spent a good many 
hours ; the third drawing was a slight 
sketch of the little shop front in the 
Brompton Road, with Mrs Barry's 
name over the doorway. Susy recog- 
nised it at once, for she had been there 
and had often heard of the place from 

himself. 

Two days afterwards Susy, with 
m's packet in her hand, was 
riving along Knightsbridge towards 
the little shop in a strangely anxious 
" excited frame of mind. 



It seemed to her as if all the toys 
were feeling for her as she stood 
there the dolls with their goggle blue 
eyes, the little donkeys and horses, 
the sheep with their pink and blue 
ribbons. They all seemed compassionate 
and to be making mute signs ; she saw 
the little trumpets in their places and 
the sugar-candy stores ; she could have 
bought up the whole shopful, but the 
little assemblage would not have seemed 
the same to her in any other place. 
Here in the suburban street, with the 
carts passing and repassing, hospitals, 
buildings, the quiet little shop haunted 
by the children's smiling faces seemed 
to shrink away from the busy stream 
outside-; all the dolls seemed to put 
up their leather arms in deprecation, 
crying, " Don't come in here, we belong 
to peaceful toy-land, we have to do 
with children only, not with men." 
The woman who kept the shop had 
left the parlour door open, and Susy 
could see the window and the old Lon- 
don garden beyond, the square panes 
with autumn creepers peeping through. 

The woman of the shop came out 
from her parlour, and Susy with fal- 
tering lips asked her if she could give 
her any news of M. du Pare. " I have 
some papers which I want to send 
him," said Mrs. Dymond. 

" I will call him, ma'am," said the 
woman very quietly ; " he came last 
night ; " and almost as she was speak- 
ing the door opened and Max was 
there. 

Clap your pink arms, oh goggle eyes ; 
play, musical boxes ; ring, penny trum- 
pets; turn, cart wheels, and let the 
happy lovers meet ! 

Two more people are made happy 
in this care-worn world; they are 
together, and what more do they 
want ! 

Du Pare had escaped, although his 
name was on the list of those attainted. 
Mr. Bagginal could, perhaps, if he 
chose, give the precise details of the 
young man's evasion from the box 
room where he had spent so many dull 
days. Mr. Bagginal sent him with a 
letter to Mr. Vivian, that good friend 



152 



Mrs. Dymond. 



of art and liberty. I know not if it 
was Sir Frederick, or Sir George, or 
Sir John to whom he, Mr. Vivian, in 
turn introduced du Pare on his 
arrival, with cordial deeds and words 
of help and recommendation. He 
was bidden to leave his toy shop and 
take up his abode with the Vivians 
for a time, and work and make his 
way in the London world. His ad- 
mirable etchings of Mrs. Vivian 
and her two daughters first brought 
him into notice and repute : they were 
followed by the publication of that 
etching already mentioned of a beau- 
tiful young woman gazing at a statue. 
Du Pare was able, fortunately, to earn 
from the very first; later he had more 
money than he knew what to do with. 
Mr. White more than once had occa- 
sion to acknowledge with thanks com- 
munications which passed between 
Max and Susy and his own particular 
branch of the society for the organisa- 
tion of the relief of distress. 

The papers, of which he had not at 
first realised the importance, and 
which Susanna brought him, con- 
tained, besides many theories and 
verses half finished, a duly signed 
will which very materially affected 
Max's future prospects. Caron had 
left him his heir and executor, his 
trustee for his works and his men. 
It is true the old man's for- 
tune had been greatly reduced by late 
events and by the expenses of his 
establishment, but his houses were 
standing still, his machinery and his 
workshops were still there most of 



the workmen had clung to the enter- 
prise in which they had a personal 
stake and though it was not possible 
for Max, an unwilling exile, to return 
to France, yet Adolphe was found 
capable and able to replace him for the 
time on the spot. Mickey and Dermey, 
it was hoped, would be in time able to 
take their share in the management 
of the works. 

When the general amnesty was 
proclaimed about four years ago 
Max was once more free to return 
to France. Susy, most certainly 
would not like to leave England 
altogether, but she is glad to go 
from time to time to the White 
House among the poplar trees in the 
little village near the paper mills. 
" Les Saules " is a happy meeting house 
for her English friends, and there upon 
the iron bench by the shining glass 
ball in the garden sits old Madame du 
Pare from Avignon admiring her 
northern grandchildren. 

They come up in a little file headed 
by Phraisie, who is perhaps also dragg- 
ing a little Bolsover by the hand. They 
are laughing and singing as they come 
along 

" Promenons-nous dans les bois, 
Pendant que le loup n'y est pas ; " 

sing the children's voices taking up 
that song of childhood and innocent 
joy which reaches from generation to 
generation, which no sorrow, no dis- 
aster, will ever silence while this world 
rolls on. 



OLD FLORENCE AND MODERN TUSCANY. 



' Florence within her ancient limit-mark, 
Which calls her still to matin prayers and 

noon, 

Was chaste and sober, and abode in peace. 
She had no amulet, no head-tires then, 
No purfled dames ; no zone, that caught 

the eye 
More than the person did. Time was not 

yet, 

When at his daughters' births the sire 

grew pale, 

For fear the age and dowry should exceed, 
On each side, just proportion. House was 

none, 

Void of its family ; nor yet had come 
Sardanapalus to exhibit feats 
Of chamber prowess. Montemalo yet 
O'er our suburban turret rose ; as much 
To be surpast in fall, as in its rising. 
I saw Bellincion Berti walk abroad 
In leathern girdle, and a clasp of bone ; 
And, with no artificial colouring on her 

cheeks, 

His lady leave the glass. The sons I saw 
Of Nerli, and of Vecchio, well content 
With unrobed jerkin ; and their good 

dames handling 
The spindle and the flax. Oh, happy, 

they ! " 

[us writes Dante, in the ' Paradise ' 
>ut the sobriety and simplicity of 
jss and manners in Florence of his 

ty ; and nearly a century later 

r. Villani writes : 

The citizens of Florence lived soberly, on 
viands and at small cost ; they were 
rude and unpolished in many customs and 
courtesies of life, and dressed themselves and 
their women in coarse cloth ; many wore plain 
leather, without cloth over it ; bonnets on 
their heads ; and all, boots on their feet. The 
Florentine women were without ornament ; 
the better sort being content with a close 
gown of scarlet cloth of Ypres or of camlet, 
tied with a girdle in the ancient mode, and a 
mantle lined with fur, with a hood attached 
to be worn on the head. The common sort of 
women were clad in a coarse gown of cambrai 
in like fashion." 

Things appear to have changed soon 
after this, as the sage old Florentines 
drew up a series of sumptuary laws in 
1415, directed against the luxury and 
splendour of women's dress and of 
marriage festivals. They declared 



that such magnificence was opposed 
to all republican laws and usages, and 
only served to enervate and corrupt 
the people. If a citizen of Florence 
wished to give an entertainment in 
honour of a guest, he was obliged to 
obtain a permit from the Priors of 
Liberty, for which he paid ten golden 
florins, and had also to swear that such 
splendour was only exhibited for the 
honour and glory of the city. Who- 
ever transgressed this law was fined 
twenty-five golden florins. It was 
considered shameful to have much 
plate ; nearly all household implements 
were of brass, now and then beautified 
by having the arms of the family in 
enamel upon them. These sumptuary 
laws were not confined to Florence. 
The town of Pistoja enacted similar 
ones in 1322: Perugia in 1333. 
Phillipe le Bel promulgated sumptuary 
laws in France in 1310; Charles the 
Ninth in 1575; and Louis the Thir- 
teenth in 1614; but with no greater 
success than the worthy old repub- 
licans. 

Pandolfini, in his curious book, 
' Del Governo della Famiglia,' inveighs 
against the Florentine custom of paint- 
ing the face. In his counsels to his 
young wife, Giovanna degli Strozzi, 
he says : 

" Avoid all those false appearances by 
which dishonest and bad women try to allure 
men, thinking with ointments, white lead and 
paint, with lascivious and immoral dress, to 
please men better than when adorned with 
simplicity and true honesty. Not only is this 
reprehensible, but it is most unwholesome to 
corrupt the face with lime, poisons, and so- 
called washes. See, oh, my wife, how fresh 
and well-looking are all the women of this 
house ! This is because they use only water 
from the well as an ointment ; do thou like- 
wise, and do not plaster and whiten thy face, 
thinking to appear more beautiful in my eyes. 
Thou art fresh and of a fine colour ; think not 
to please me by cheatery and showing thyself 
to me as thou art not, because I am not to be 
deceived ; I see thee at all hours, and well I 
know how thou art without paint. " 



154 



Old Florence and Modern Tuscany. 



The Florentine ladies appear to have 
held their own against all these at- 
tempts to convert them to a simpler 
mode of life. Sachetti gives an amus- 
ing instance of their ready wit, while 
he was Prior of the Republic. A new 
judge, Amerigo degli Amerighi, came 
from Pesaro, and was specially ordered 
to see that the sumptuary laws were 
obeyed ; he fell into disgrace for doing 
too little, and his defence is as 
follows : 

' ' My masters, I have worked all my life at 
the study of law, and now that I thought 
I knew something I find I know nothing ; for 
trying to discover the forbidden ornaments 
worn by your women, according to the orders 
you gave me, I have not found in any law- 
book arguments such as they give. I will 
cite you some. I met a woman with a border, 
all curiously ornamented and slashed, turned 
over her hood ; the notary said to her, ' Give 
me your name, for you have an embroidered 
border.' The good woman takes off the 
border, which was attached to her hood with 
a pin, and holding it in her hand, replies that 
it is a garland. There are others who wear 
many buttons down the front of their dresses ; 
I say to one, ' You may not wear those 
buttons,' and she answers, * Yes, sir, I can, 
for these are not buttons, but coppelle, and if 
you do not believe me, see, they have no haft, 
and there are no buttonholes. ' The notary 
goes up to a third, who was wearing ermine, and 
says, ' How can you excuse yourself, you are 
wearing ermine,' and begins to write the ac- 
cusation. The woman replies, ' No, do not 
write, for this is not ermine but lattizzo (fur 
of any young sucking animal).' The notary 
asked, 'And what is this lattizzo?' And 
the woman's answer was, 'The man is a 
fool ! ' ' 

The widows seem to have given less 
trouble ; but they always took care that 
their dresses should be well cut and fit 
perfectly. 

Philosophers, of course, wrote treat- 
ises on political economy, and poets 
satirised the different fashions of their 
times. Thus, in Lodovico Adimari, 
we read : 

" The high- bom dame now plasters all her 

cheeks 
With paint by shovelfuls, and in curled 

rings 
Or tortuous tresses twines her hair, and 



To shave with splintered glass the down 

that springs 
On her smooth face and soft skin, till they 

seem 



The fairest, tenderest of all tender things : 
Rouge and vermilion make her red lips 

beam 

Like rubies burning on the brow divine 
Of heaven-descended Iris : jewels gleam 
About her breasts, embroidered on the 

shrine 
Of satins, silks, and velvets : like the 

snails, 
A house in one dress on her back she 

trails." 1 

Cennino Cennini, a painter and 
pupil of Agnolo Gaddi, the godson of 
Giotto, says, in his Treatise on 
Painting : 

' ' It might be for the service of young 
ladies, more especially those of Tuscany, to 
mention some colours which they think highly 
of, and use for beautifying themselves ; and 
also certain washes. But as those of Padua 
do not use such things, and I do not wish to 
make myself obnoxious to them, or to incur 
the displeasure of God and of Our Lady, so I 
shall say no more on this subject. But," he 
continues, ' ' if thou desirest to preserve thy 
complexion for a long time, I advise thee to 
wash thyself with water from fountains, rivers, 
or wells. I warn thee that if thou .usest cos- 
metics thy face will become hideous and thy 
teeth black ; thou wilt be old before thy time, 
and the ugliest object possible. This is quite 
enough to say on this subject. " 

Cennini seems, notwithstanding, to 
have been employed to paint peoples 
faces, if we may judge from the 
following passage in the same work : 

" Sometimes you may be obliged to paint or 
dye flesh, faces of men and women in particu- 
lar. You can mix your colours with yolk of 
egg ; or should you wish to make them more 
brilliant, with oil, or liquid varnish, the 
strongest of all temperas. Do you want to 
remove the colours or tempera from the face ? 
Take yolk of egg and rub it, a little at a time, 
with your hand on the face. Then take clean 
water, in which bran has been boiled, and 
wash the face ; then more of the yolk of egg, 
and again rub the face with it ; and again 
wash with warm water. Repeat this many 
times until the face returns to its original 
. colour." 

The sumptuary laws cited by the 
Osservatore Florentine are as fol- 
low : 

"1st. It is forbidden for any unmarried 
woman to wear pearls or precious stones, 
and the married dames may only wear orna- 
ments of the value of forty golden florins at 
any one time. 

"2nd. In the week preceding a wedding 

1 Translated by Mr. J. A. Symonds. 






Old Florence and Modern Tuscany. 



155 



neither bride nor bridegroom may ask to 
dinner or supper more than four persons, not 
appertaining to the house. 

" 3rd. The brides who desire to go to 
church on horseback may do so, but are not 
to be accompanied by more than six women 
attendants. 

" 4th. On the marriage day only sixteen 
women may dine in the bridegroom's house, 
six of the bride's family and ten of the bride- 
groom's, besides his mother, his sisters, and 
his aunts. 

"5th. There may only be ten men of the 
family, and eight friends ; boys under four- 
teen do not count. 

"6th. During the repast only three musi- 
cians and singers are to be allowed. 

"7th. The dinner or supper may not con- 
sist of more than three solid dishes, but con- 
fectionary and fruit ad libitum. 

"8th. The bride and bridegroom are 
allowed to invite two hundred people to 
witness the signing of the contract before 
the celebration of the marriage." 

These laws, however, appear to have 
been of little use, to judge by the re- 
presentation of the marriage proces- 
sion of Boccaccio degli Adimari on 
the cassone, or marriage-chest, the 
painted front of which is now in the 
Academia delle Belle Arte, at Florence. 
Men and women magnificently clad are 
walking hand in hand, under a canopy 
of red and white damask, supported 
by poles, and stretched from the lovely 
little Loggia del Bigallo, past Lorenzo 
Ghiberti's famous doors of the bap- 
tistry of San Giovanni, to the corner 
of Via de' Martelli. The trumpeters 
of the Republic sit on the steps of the 
Loggia, blowing their golden trumpets 
ornamented with square flags, on which 
is emblazoned the lily of the city 
of Florence. Pages in gorgeous 
clothes, and carrying gold and silver 
vases on their heads, are passing in 
and out of one of the Adimari palaces. 
A man behind the musicians holds a 
flask of wine in his hand, just the 
same flask as one sees now in daily use 
in Tuscany. The ladies have head- 
dresses like large turbans ; one is 
made of peacock feathers, and all are 
sparkling with jewels. 

Funerals were also a great source of 
show and splendour in those days, and 
their cost increased rapidly. In 1340 
the funeral of Gherardo Baroncelli cost 



only two hundred golden florins, and 
about the same time that of Giotto 
Peruzzi five hundred ; whereas, in 
1377, the expenses for the burial of 
Monaldo Alberti di Messer Niccolaio 
d'Jacopo degli Alberti amounted to 
three thousand golden florins, nearly 
five thousand pounds. 

The following details of this magni- 
ficent affair, from the manuscript of 
Monaldi, may interest the curious 
reader : 

" Monaldo Alberti di Messer Niccolaio 
d'Jacopo degli Alberti, died on the 7th August, 
1377 ; he passed for the richest man, as re- 
gards money, in the country. He was buried 
on the 8th August, in Santa Croce, with great 
honour of torches and wax candles. The 
funeral car was of red damask, and he was 
dressed in the same red damask, in cloth and 
in cloth of gold. There were eight horses, 
one decked with the arms of the people, be- 
cause he was a cavalier of the people ; one 
with the arms of the Guelphs, because he was 
one of their captains ; two horses were covered 
with big banners, on which were emblazoned 
the Alberti arms ; one horse had a pennant, 
and a casque and sword and spurs of gold, and 
on the casque was a damsel with two wings ; 
another horse was covered with scarlet, and 
his rider had a thick mantle of fur, lined ; 
another horse was undraped, and his rider 
wore a violet cloak lined with dark fur. 

"When the body was removed from the 
arcade of the house, there was a sermon.; 
seventy-two torches surrounded the car, that 
is to say, sixty belonging to the house, and 
twelve to the Guelph party. A large cata- 
falque was all furnished with torches of a 
pound weight ; and the whole church, and 
the chief chapels towards the centre of the 
church, were full of small torches of half a 
pound weight, often interspersed with those of 
one pound. All the relations, and those of 
close parentage with the house of Alberti, 
were dressed in blood-red ; and all the women 
who belonged 'to them, or had entered the 
family by marriage, wore the same colour. 
Many other families were in black. A great 
quantity of money was there to give away for 
God, &c. Never had been seen such honours. 
This funeral cost something like three thousand 
golden florins." 

The Medici made no attempt to con- 
trol this splendour ; indeed, one of 
Lorenzo the Magnificent' s favourite 
sayings was, Pane e feste tengon il 
popol quieto (Bread and shows keep 
the people quiet). Cosmo the First had 
a passion for jousts and games of all 
sorts ; ballets on horseback and mas- 



156 



Old Florence and Modern Tuscany. 



querades ; these were generally held in 
the Piazza Sta. Croce. The masquerade, 
in 1615, to celebrate the arrival of 
Ubaldo della Rovere, Prince of Urbino, 
has been engraved by Jacques Callot, 
and was called the War of Love. 
First came the chariot of Love, 
surrounded with clouds, which opened 
showing Love and his court. Then 
came the car of Mount Parnassus with 
the Muses, Paladins, and famous men 
of letters. The third was the chariot 
of the Sun, with the twelve signs of 
the zodiac, the serpent of Egypt, the 
months and seasons ; this chariot was 
surrounded by eight Ethiopian giants. 
The car of Thetis closed the proces- 
sion, with Sirens, Nereids, and Tritons, 
and eight giant Neptunes, to represent 
the principal seas of the world. 

Eerdinand the Second also delighted 
in these shows, and several held during 
his reign have been engraved by Stefano 
della Bella and Jacques Callot. 

Princess Yiolante of Bavaria, who 
came, in 168 9, to marry Ferdinand, son 
of Cosmo the Third, was received with 
great splendour. She entered Florence 
by the Porta San Gallo, where a chapel 
had been erected on purpose to crown 
her as she crossed the threshold of the 
city. The princess then seated herself 
on a jewelled throne, and was carried 
into the town under a canopy borne 
by a number of youths, splendidly 
dressed, and chosen for their beauty 
and high birth. After a solemn thanks- 
giving in the cathedral she was es- 
corted to the Pitti Palace by the 
senate and the chief people of the 
city. The carnival feasts that year 
were more magnificent than usual in 
her honour. 

T. Kinnucini, writing to a friend 

in the beginning of the seventeenth 

century, gives the following quaint 

account of a wedding in his own 

1 family : 

"When the alliance was arranged, we went 
in person to all our near relatives, and sent 
servants to those of remoter kin, to give notice 
of the day on which the bride would leave our 
house in her bridal attire ; so that all relations 
down to the third degree might accompany 
her to mass. At the house door we found a 



company of youths, the seraglio, as we 
say, who complimented my niece, and made 
as though they would not allow her to quit 
the house until she bestowed on them rings or 
clasps, or some such trinkets. "When she had, 
with infinite grace, given the usual presents, 
the spokesman of the party, who was the : 
youngest, and of high family, w T aited on the 
bride, and served her as far as the church 
door, giving her his arm. After the marriage 
we had a grand banquet, with all the relations 
on both sides, and the youths of the seraglio, 
who, in truth, have a right to be present at 
the feast." 

In other descriptions of marriages 
about the same time, we read that 
during the banquet a messenger sought 
audience of the bride and presented 
her with a basket of flowers, or a pair 
of scented gloves sent by the ser- 
aglio, together with the rings, clasps, 
or other ornaments she had given 
them on leaving her father's house. 
The bridegroom, according to his 
means, gave the messenger thirty, 
forty, fifty, or even, if very rich, a 
hundred scudi, which the youths spent 
in a great feast to their companions 
and friends, in a masquerade, or some 
such entertainment. 

The marriage ring was given on 
another day, when there was a feast 
of white confectionary, followed by 
dancing, if the size of the house per- 
mitted it. Otherwise the company 
played at giule, a game of cards 
no longer known ; the name being 
derived, says Salvini, from the coin 
called yiulio, worth fifty-six centimes, 
which was placed in a plate in the 
middle of the table as the stake. 

At the beginning of the feast the 
names of the guests were read out 
according to their different degrees of 
parentage, so that all might find their 
places without confusion. 

The bride's dower was carried in 
procession to the bridegroom's house, 
in the cassoni, or marriage-chests, which 
varied in splendour according to the 
riches of the family. Some were of i 
carved wood, some inlaid, others j 
covered with velvet ornamented with ] 
richly gilt ironwork, and the finest of ' 
all were painted, often by famous , 
artists, with the deeds of the ances- 



Old Florence and Modern Tuscany. 



157 



tors of the family. The great luxury 
consisted in fine linen ; " twenty dozen 
of everything," was the rule in those 
days, which is still adhered to among 
old-fashioned people in Tuscany. 

It was in such a marriage-chest that 
the beautiful Ginevra dei Benci, whose 
portrait exists in the fresco by Ghir- 
landajo in Sta. Maria Novella, hid 
while playing hide and seek the even- 
ing before her marriage. The cassone 
was of carved wood, and the heavy 
lid closed upon her, snapping the lock 
fast. All search for her was vain, and 
the old tale says that her fair fame 
suffered at the hands of malicious 
women, jealous of her exceeding 
beauty. Years afterwards, when the 
chest was forced open, the remains of 
the lovely Ginevra were found, still, 
it is said, preserving traces of beauty, 
and with the peculiar scent she used 
still lingering about her long, fair 
hair; in her right hand she grasped 
the jewel her bridegroom had given 
her to fasten the front of her gown. 
In Florence the betta Ginevra is still 
talked about among the common people, 
as the ideal type of woman's beauty. 

All these old usages have vanished 
now among the gentlefolk of Florence, 
but some yet linger among the conta- 
dini, or peasantry, who are essentially 
conservative, and opposed to change. 
Sir Henry Maine has described 1 a state 
of things among the South Slavonians 
and Rajpoots which is curiously like 
the life of the Tuscan contadino of 
the present day. 

The house community of the South 
Slavonians despotically ruled by the 
paterfamilias; and the house-mother, 
who governs the women of the family, 
though always subordinate to the house- 
chief, is almost a counterpart of the 
primitive custom still prevailing in 
Tuscany, and doubtless existing in the 
days of the gallant youths and fair 
ladies we have mentioned above. 

In all dealings of the contadini 
with strangers the capoccio, or head- 
man, represents the family, and 
his word or signature binds them 

1 In the ' Nineteenth Century ' Magazine, 
December, 1877. 



all collectively. He administers the 
family affairs, and arranges what 
work is to be done during the day, 
and who is to do it. No member of 
the family can marry without his 
consent, ratified by that of the padrone, 
or landlord, and he keeps the common 
purse. On Saturday night the men 
state their wants to him, and he de- 
cides whether they are reasonable, and 
above all whether the family finances 
permit their realisation. The rule of 
the capoccio is extremely despotic, for 
I have known the case of an old man, 
the uncle of the head-man, being kept 
for some time without his weekly 
pittance for buying snuff as a punish- 
ment for disobeying an order. 

The dignity of capoccio is here- 
ditary and generally goes to the eldest 
son, although it happens that he may 
be passed over, and an uncle or a 
younger brother chosen to fill the 
position, by the padrone, to whom the 
capoccio is responsible for the beha- 
viour of the rest of the family. 
Should he fall hopelessly ill, the family 
inform the padrone in an indirect way, 
who suggests to the head-man that 
he should abdicate ; but in this case, 
and indeed whenever it is practicable, 
the choice of the successor is left to 
the capoccio himself, in order to main- 
tain the dignity of the position. 

The massaia, or house-mother, is 
generally one of the oldest women in 
the house ; often the mother or the 
wife of the head-man, but occasionally 
of more distant kin. She retains the 
post until her death, and rules over 
the women, keeping the purse for 
the smaller house expenses, such as 
linen, clothes for the women, pepper, 
salt, and white rolls for the small 
children. All these are bought with 
the proceeds of the work of the women 
themselves, which includes the care of 
the silkworms, of the poultry, if they 
are permitted by the landlord to keep 
fowls, and the straw-plaiting, which 
is universal in the lower Yal d'Arno. 
The girls, from the age of fourteen, 
are allowed a certain time every day 
to work for their dowry, generally in 
the evening. 



158 



Old Florence and Modern Tuscany. 



A bride brings into her husband's 
house a bed, some linen, a cassone, her 
personal clothes, and a vezzo, a necklace 
of several strings of irregular pearls, 
costing from five to a hundred pounds, 
according to the wealth of her father, 
or the amount she has been able to 
earn. The vezzo always represents half 
the dowry, and those who are too poor 
to buy pearls get a necklace of dark 
red coral. 

After a due course of courtship 
during which the young man visits 
his innamorata every Saturday evening 
and on holidays, bringing her a flower, 
generally a carnation, or a rose in the 
summer months, and improvising (if 
he can) terze or ottave rhymes in her 
honour, which he sings as he nears 
the house the capoccio dons his best 
clothes, and goes in state to ask the 
hand of the girl for his son, brother, 
nephew, or cousin, as it may be. When 
the affair is settled, after much talk- 
ing and gesticulation, like everything 
else in Tuscany, a stimatore or savio, 
an appraiser or wise-man, is called in, 
who draws up an account of all the 
bride's possessions. This paper, duly 
signed and sealed, is consigned to the 
capoccio of the bridegroom's house, 
who keeps it carefully, as should the 
young man die without leaving child- 
ren, the wife has a right to the value 
of all she brought into her husband's 
house. If there are children the 
capoccio is the sole guardian, and he 
administers their property for them, 
unless the mother has reason to think 
him harsh or unfaithful, when she 
may call for a consiglio di famiglia, 
or family council, who name two or 
more administrators. 

A widow may elect to remain in 
her adopted family and look after her 
children, who by law belong to the 
representative of their father ; or she 
can leave her children and return to 
her own people if they are able and 
willing to receive her, which is not 
often the case, as in Tuscany the 
contadini marry their children by 
rotation, so that often the younger 
sons or daughters have to wait for 
years, until the elder are settled in 



life. It would be an unheard of thing 
for a younger daughter to marry 
before her elder sister. 

Second marriages of widows with 
children are rare, as the woman would 
seldom be allowed to bring her chil- 
dren by the first husband into the 
house, and the folk-songs and pro- 
verbs are condemnatory of the 
practice : 

Quando la capra ha passato il poggiolo non 
si ricorda piu del figliuolo. (When the she- 
goat has crossed the hillock she forgets her 
young.) 

Dio ti guardi da donna due volte maritate. 
(God preserve thee from a twice married 
woman. ) 

Quando si maritan vedove, il benedetto va 
tutto il giorno per casa. ("When widows 
marry, the dear departed is all day long about 
the house. ) 

La vedovella quando sta'n del letto, 
Colle lagrime bagna le lenzuola ; 
E si rivolta da quel altro verso : 
Accanto ci si trova la figlwla. 
figlia mia, se tu nonfossi nata, 
Al mondo mi sarei rimaritata. 

(The widow lying in her bed, 

With tears bedews the sheets ; 

And turns round to the other side, 

Where her daughter is. 

Oh, my daughter, dear, if thou hadst not been 

born, 
I should have found another husband in this 

world. ) 

After seven years of age the chil- 
dren are by law allowed to choose with 
whom they will live, and I have known 
some cases of children leaving their 
mother and coming of their own 
accord to their uncle or grandfather, 
begging to be taken into the paternal 
house. 

When a marriage is settled, the 
family of the bride invites the capoccio 
and the bridegroom to dinner, to meet 
all her relations. This is called the 
impalmamento, and many toasts are 
drunk to the health of the young 
couple. It is considered highly im- 
proper for the bride to visit her future 
home, and even in her walks she takes 
care to avoid it. The other members 
of her family may visit it, but she 
would be dishonoured for ever if she 
went near her bridegroom's house. 

The peasantry now almost univer- 






Old Florence and Modern Tuzczny. 



159 



sally observe the new law of civil 
marriage, but they still regard it as 
a mere form and look on the religious 
ceremony as the important thing. The 
civil marriage is often celebrated three 
or four days before the religious ser- 
vice, and the girl goes quietly home 
to her father's house until the day 
fixed for the latter. 

In some parts of the Val d'Arno 
the custom of being married after sun- 
down prevails, and the bride wears a 
black dress, with a white bonnet 
or cap and white gloves, while, 
even in winter, a fan is an indispen- 
sable adjunct to her costume. Brides- 
maids are unknown, as no unmarried 
girl is ever present at a marriage. 
The bride is attended to church by 
her father and mother, and her male 
and married female relations. The 
bridegroom's mother, or the massaia 
of his house, stays at home to welcome 
her new daughter, whom she meets on 
the threshold of the house with il 
bacio di benvenuto (the kiss of wel- 
come). At the dinner or supper, as 
the case may be, everybody in turn 
makes a brindisi to the young couple. 
The female relations of the bride do 
not go to this dinner, and she makes 
up a basket of eatables to send home 
by one of the men. 

During the first week of her mar- 
riage the bride is expected to be up 
before any one else, to light the fire 
and prepare coffee for the men before 
* ne 7 g into the fields, and to cook 
the hot meal either at noon or in the 
evening, to show that she is a good 
housewife. 

On the first Sunday or holiday fol- 
lowing the wedding the mother and 
sisters of the bride come to see her, 
and the following week some of the 
family of the bridegroom accompany 
him and his young wife to her old 
home, where they dine ; and this 
closes the festivities. 

It occasionally happens that a family 
of peasants, living in the same house 
and originally nearly related, in the 
lapse of years lose relationship so com- 
pletely that they might intermarry, 
but such a thing very rarely happens. 



I know a family of twenty- seven who 
are three distinct branches of the 
same family, but whose relationship 
dates back more than a hundred 
years. They, however, regard each 
other as of one family, and implicitly 
obey the capoccio, who is a com- 
paratively young man. 

The mezzeria or metayer system 
generally prevailing in Tuscany induces 
a patriarchal feeling between landlord 
and peasant, which is very pleasant tc 
see, but is not conducive to agricul- 
tural progress, or a good thing for the 
landlord. He pays all the taxes to 
government, which are enormous; he 
provides the house rent free, and 
keeps it in repair ; he buys the oxen, 
cows, and horses, bearing half the loss 
if they die, and of course getting half 
the profit when they are sold. The 
peasant gives his labour, the land- 
owner gives the land and the capital, 
and the proceeds are divided between 
them. In bad years the landlord 
advances corn to his peasants, which 
they repay when they can, in wine, oil, 
beans, &c. Where there is a large 
family of young children the peasant 
sometimes accumulates a load of debt 
that cripples him for years ; in rare 
instances the landlord turns him out 
at six months' notice, and puts another 
family on the farm ; but as a rule the 
peasants remain for generations on the 
same property, and always talk of 
themselves as the gente (people) of 
their landlord. 

The English farmer does not exist in 
Tuscany; none of the peasants have 
enough capital to lease land, and if 
they had they would not do it, being 
so much better off under the 
mezzeria. If a peasant leased a 
farm he would probably starve in a 
bad season, instead of tiding it over as 
he now does by the padrone's help. 

The small proprietors are gradually 
disappearing in Tuscany ; they cannot 
pay the enormous taxes and live. One 
never takes up a newspaper without 
seeing a list of small proprietors whose 
poderi are for sale, by order of the 
esattore or tax-gatherer. The Tus- 
cans are a gentle and long-suffering 



160 



Old Florence and Modern Tuscany. 



people, but such a condition of things 
produces a vast amount of discontent 
and hatred of the government, and 
destroys a valuable class of trust- 
worthy, orderly citizens. 

When a contadino is sent away, 
he occasionally finds a new poderi, 
but most commonly sinks in the social 
scale and becomes a bracciante or 
day labourer, when his lot is miser- 
able enough. The usual wage in Tus- 
cany is one franc, twelve centimes, 
about elevenpence a day. The day's 
work begins at sunrise and lasts till 
sunset, with half-an hour's rest for 
breakfast at eight in the morning and 
one hour for lunch at midday. In the 
great heat of summer the midday 
rest is prolonged, and the men come 
earlier and go away later from their 
work. When the weather is bad they 
are days without employment ; and 
where there are many small children, 
the family is often at starvation point. 
The women in the lower Yal d'Arno 
are universally occupied in straw 
plaiting, and if very expert can, in 
exceptional years, and for a short time, 
gain as much as tenpence a day. But 
fashion is always changing, and new 
plaits have to be learned, so that the 
average gain rarely exceeds twenty cen- 
times, or twopence a day. When the 
Japanese rush hats came into fashion, 
there was very great misery among all 
the poor plaiters, as Leghorn straw 
hats were almost unsaleable. 

Going out to service is looked upon 
as a degradation among the Tuscan 
peasantry, and when you find a woman 
of that class in service she is certain 
to be either a childless widow, a bur- 
den on her own family and unkindly 
treated by the relatives of her late 
husband, or a girl who has not been 
allowed to marry as she wished. The 
contadino almost invariably chooses 
a wife in his own class, generally 
from a neighbouring family. Fa- 
vourite proverbs among the peasants 
are 

Donne e Inioi de' paesi tuoi. (Women and 
oxen from thine own country. ) 



or 

Chi di contano si va a maritare, sara 

ingannato o vuol ingannare. (He who seeks 

a wife from a distance will be deceived, or 
attempts deception. ) 

You will seldom find a peasant 
above thirty who can write and read, 
though some have learnt to sign their 
names in a sort of hieroglyph. The 
rising generation are being instructed 
in a desultory manner, and are won- 
derfully quick at learning. Every 
man in the army is forced to learn 
under penalty of being kept in the 
ranks until he can read, write, and 
cipher decently well ; so that one may 
say that the army is one vast school. 
The conscription is, however, a very 
heavy tax, particularly on the agri- 
cultural population, and entails great 
misery. The loss, for three years, of 
the son, who in many cases is the chief 
bread-winner for his younger brothers 
and sisters, or for an invalid father, 
often reduces the family to beggary. I 
need not add that the loss to the 
country is enormous. 

On the other hand, there is no doubt 
that the army is the great, and 
probably the only, method of gradually 
fusing the different Italian races I 
had almost said nationalities. Since 
the Middle Ages the hatred between 
not only the different provinces, but 
between the towns and even the 
smallest villages, has always existed, 
and is still extremely strong. An 
Italian seldom, if ever, in Italy at 
least, talks of himself as an Italian. 
He is a Neapolitan, a Tuscan, a 
Piedmontese, a Roman, or a Lombard ; 
and each province thinks that it has 
the monopoly of honesty, truth, and 
exemption from crime. All this will, 
no doubt, pass when education has had 
time to influence the lower classes ; 
and then also the quaint manners and 
customs I have attempted to describe 
will disappear, like the costume of the 
peasants, which now lingers on only in 
the meridional provinces. 

JANET Ross. 



MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE 



JANUARY, 1886. 



GENERAL GRANT. 



THE first volume of General Grant's 
1 Memoirs' 1 brings the story of his 
life down to the siege and capture of 
Yicksburg the achievement which 
has always been held to give him his 
best claim to rank as a great strategist 
and commander. It was one of the 
most perilous operations ever carried 
out, and from first to last it was con- 
ducted in defiance of all the recognised 
rules of warfare. Grant himself tells 
us that General Sherman remonstrated 
most earnestly with him when the pro- 
ject was first discussed, or rather men- 
tioned ; for Grant rarely submitted 
any of his plans for discussion, either 
in a council of war or elsewhere. 
Some of the generals on the northern 
side took particular pains not to com- 
mit themselves to an important step 
without consultation with the authori- 
ties at Washington. The President 
was commander -in-chief, and the secre- 
tary of war, Mr. Stanton, was a man 
who very easily took offence, and who 
never forgave. The necessity of 
" standing well " at Washington, was 
one cause of the failure of so many of 
the generals who took the field at the 
outset of the rebellion. They were 
afraid of the Government, and still 
more .afraid of the newspapers. 

Grant alone had the courage to set 
them all at defiance. When he had 
formed his plans he kept them as 
secret from everybody as circumstances 

1 ' Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant.' Vol. i. 
Sampson Low and Company, London, 1885. 
No. 315. VOL. LIII. 



permitted until the moment for action 
arrived. It does not appear that he 
sent any message whatever to Wash- 
ington concerning Yicksburg until the 
place was actually in. his possession. 
Sherman, who was with him, showed 
him all the dangers of the enterprise. 
He pointed out that to go into a hos- 
tile country, with a large river behind 
the advancing force, and the enemy 
holding strongly - fortified positions 
above and below, was to incur a 
frightful risk, and consequently he 
recommended a backward move upon 
Memphis. Grant coolly answered that 
Memphis was the very place to which 
he did not want to go. He knew that 
a feeling of great discouragement ex- 
isted in the North, that the elections of 
1862 had proved the growth of a sen- 
timent adverse to the continuance of 
the war, and that it had become neces- 
sary to substitute a compulsory draft 
for voluntary enlistment. He felt that 
unless a striking success could be ob- 
tained, the South would probably 
triumph, and he decided that it was 
better to run any hazard than not 
to try for that success. Hence he 
resolved to cross the Mississippi, and 
almost literally to burn his boats be- 
hind him. His scheme was to cut 
loose from his base of supplies, and to 
push forward into the Confederate ter- 
ritory without supports of any kind. 
An officer of his staff told me that an- 
other officer ventured one morning to 
say to his chief, " General, if we are 



162 



General Grant. 



beaten, we shall not have sufficient 
transport back for ten thousand 
troops." " If we are beaten," replied 
Grant, in his usual impassive manner, 
" transport back for ten thousand 
troops is more than I shall want." 
His army knew as well as he did that 
nothing was left for it but to conquer 
or die ; and it also knew that no mis- 
giving or hesitation on the part of its 
leader would be allowed to interfere 
with his design. This was the great 
peculiarity of Grant's character his 
unshakable determination. When he 
was in the right men praised it, as it 
was very natural they should do ; 
when he turned out to be wrong as 
he did often enough in civil life they 
denounced his senseless and incurable 
obstinacy. It was by obstinacy that 
he beat down secession. Scientific tac- 
tics had been employed, and had led 
only to failure and disappointment. 
Wisely or unwisely, Grant disregarded 
science, especially in his movement 
against Yicksburg. He won the vic- 
tory by a series of rapid movements, 
which bewildered the Southern gene- 
rals ; before they fairly realised their 
danger they had lost the control of 
the Mississippi, and, as Grant truly 
says, the " fate of the Confederacy was 
sealed." Thousands and tens of thou- 
sands of men were still to fall, but the 
loss of Yicksburg was the death-blow 
of the Southern cause. 

This event, therefore, forms an 
appropriate dividing line in a fragment 
of autobiography for this work, even 
in its complete state, will evidently be 
no more than a fragment which must 
always be invested with a strange and 
mournful interest. It was begun and 
carried on with the shadow of death 
ever upon the page death by one of 
the most agonising of diseases, and 
accompanied with mental distress 
scarcely less poignant than the direst 
form of physical torture. When I 
first met General Grant, soon after 
the close of the war, he was still a 
young man, full of life and energy, 
with a constitution of iron, proof 
against all the hardships, fatigues, and 
anxieties he had passed through. He 



was then at the zenith of his fame, the 
idol of the people, followed everywhere 
by the acclamations which are reserved 
in all countries for the successful 
soldier. Greater glo'ry was never 
heaped upon Washington himself. 
Men and women would travel hun- 
dreds of miles in the hope of looking 
upon his face, or of being permitted 
to boast that they had touched his 
hand. He received all this homage 
with phlegmatic indifference, seldom 
saying a word, shaking hands until 
his arm was sore, and hurrying off as 
fast as he could to his eternal cigar. 
Presents of all kinds poured in upon 
him. A nation which has no titles to 
confer, and which will not give away 
estates and pensions, could not reward 
Grant as Marlborough or Wellington 
was rewarded in this country ; but 
private gratitude did all that was 
thought right and becoming. One 
house was given to him in Washing- 
ton, another in Philadelphia, a third 
in Galena. A considerable sum of 
money was raised for his benefit, and 
held in trust. By an unfortunate 
accident this trust fund was not 
available to him at the crisis of his 
misfortunes. For the time, however, 
there seemed to be everything that 
was enviable in his circumstances. 
His reputation was without a stain of 
any kind; malice itself was for the 
moment reduced to silence. It had 
frequently been alleged that he was 
by nature cruel and relentless ; but 
the magnanimity which he displayed 
towards Lee and the other Confederate 
generals, in opposition to many power- 
ful influences, swept away this re- 
proach. He had never interfered in 
the strife of politics ; partisans on 
either side could make no complaint 
respecting him ; not a single impru- 
dent word had ever escaped his lips. 
It is not given to any of us to know 
the critical moment in our lives when j 
it would be well if we could rise up i 
and depart ; but surely, amid the grief | 
and anguish of his last days, a feeling ! 
of regret must have sometimes pre- j 
sented itself to the mind of General ! 
Grant that the summons to go did not 



General Grant. 



163 



reach him in 1865. But for what we 
are accustomed to call an accident, it 
would have reached him. He had 
been engaged to accompany President 
Lincoln to Ford's theatre, in Washing- 
ton, on the night of the assassination 
plot, and it is now known that he 
was marked to die. Some domestic 
arrangements prevented him keeping 
this appointment, and the bullet which 
was intended for him was never fired. 
It seems a hard sayiDg, but it is true, 
that Lincoln was more fortunate that 
night than Grant. 

For President Lincoln died in the 
full sunshine of success if, indeed, it 
<?an be said that sunshine ever fell upon 
that melancholy spirit. Between him 
and the people, whom he had served so 
faithfully, there was no cloud. He 
had outlived all misunderstandings and 
injustice. There was a time, no doubt, 
when his rough, uncouth ways, and 
the absence of all conventional dignity 
in his life and conversation, led many 
of his countrymen to form a false 
estimate of his nature ; but the lofti- 
ness of his views, and the sincerity of 
his patriotism, were never questioned. 
In his second inaugural address, and 
in his short but memorable speech at 
Gettysburg, he struck a note in har- 
mony with the solemnity of the time ; 
and long before the war came to an 
end it was universally acknowledged 
that the homely rail-splitter of Illinois 
was the man of all others fitted to deal 
with the great crisis which had fallen 
upon the nation. Everybody saw how 
invaluable had been his patience, his 
good-humour, his quiet belief in the 
cause which was at stake, his sagacity 
in bringing to light a capable man, 
and of remaining faithful to him. 
Many attempts were made to set him 
against General Grant, but none of 
them succeeded. " He drinks too much 
whisky," said one of Grant's maligners 
to the President. " Try and find out 
the brand," whispered Lincoln ; " I 
should like to send a barrel or two to 
some of the other generals." In com- 
mon with General Sherman and others, 
the President anticipated the daring 
inarch upon Yicksburg with great 



misgiving, and looked upon it as a 
mistake ; but after the fort had fallen 
he wrote a note of hearty congratula- 
tion to the general whom he had 
never seen. " I now wish," he said, 
" to make a personal acknowledgment 
that you were right and I was wrong." 
This letter is not published by General 
Grant in his ' Memoirs ' ; in fact, he 
publishes not a word of any kind in his 
own praise. His narrative is a plain 
almost bald record of the simplest 
facts, recounted with a modesty which 
is rare, if not absolutely unique, in 
works of this kind, but which is in 
itself vividly characteristic of the 
man. I spent many long evenings 
with him at various times, and I never 
once heard him make the slightest 
allusion to the part which he had 
played in the war. If any one else 
touched upon the subject in his pre- 
sence, his hard, firm mouth would 
close "like a steel trap," as the 
American saying goes, and the chances 
were that not another word would 
escape from him until the indiscreet 
visitor had gone. 

This reluctance to talk of his own 
deeds is visible even in the ' Memoirs,' 
which he only consented to write in 
the hope of leaving behind him some 
provision for his family. He went 
unwillingly to the task, and although 
his interest in it increased as he made 
progress, it is clear that it gave him 
no pleasure to recount his personal ex- 
ploits. He had resolved never to 
write anything for publication, but 
troubles fell thickly upon him one 
after another, and at last he yielded 
to the solicitations of the publishers. 
" I consented," he says in his preface, 
" for the money it gave me ; for at 
that moment I was living upon bor- 
rowed money." His houses had pro- 
bably been sold long before, and after 
the failure of the firm of rogues with 
which he became entangled, he was 
left absolutely penniless. Then he 
began his autobiography upon the 
novel plan of saying as little about 
himself as he could possibly help. 
His account of his early life occupies 
more space than the description of 

M 2 



164 



General Grant. 



any great siege or battle in which he 
\vas engaged. Everybody knows that 
he was brought up in humble circum- 
stances, though not in poverty. His 
father had a tannery, and young 
Grant often worked in it, though he 
detested the occupation. When the 
siege of Yicksburg made him famous, 
the " politicians " flocked around him 
from all quarters, and endeavoured to 
turn him to account in their several 
ways. Grant met all their approaches 
with the same imperturbability. " I 
am unable to talk politics," he used 
to say, " but if you want to know 
anything about the best method of 
tanning leather, I believe I can tell 
you." Through the interest of a Con- 
gressman, he was admitted to the 
great military training school of West 
Point, where Lee, and " Stonewall " 
Jackson, and others who afterwards 
became celebrated in the Confederacy, 
were students at the same time. 
Grant's sole ambition after he left 
West Point was to obtain a profes- 
sorship in some college ; but the out- 
break of the Mexican war, provoked 
by the annexation of Texas, soon pro- 
vided him with active employment. 
In that war he received some valuable 
training as a soldier, but when peace 
came he found that his position had not 
in any way improved. By this time 
he had a wife and two children, with- 
out any adequate means of earning 
money for their support. The family 
went to a little farm belonging to his 
wife near St. Louis, and there Grant 
tried to get a living in any way that 
presented itself. "If nothing else 
could be done," he says, " I would 
load a cord of wood on a waggon, and 
take it to the city for sale." Then he 
went into a " real estate " business, or, 
as we say, a land-agency ; found that 
this brought no grist to the mill, and 
was driven to become a clerk in his 
father's store. So he went on, living 
in a hand-to-mouth manner, until the 
war broke out in 1861, and he was 
called upon to take command of a com- 
pany of volunteers raised in Galena. 
This, too, seemed likely to be but 
a short-lived occupation. No one then 



believed that the war would last long. 
Mr. Jefferson Davis told a meeting at 
La Grange, Mississippi, that he would 
be willing to " drink all the blood 
spilled south of Mason and Dixon's 
line." Mr. Seward, the secretary of 
state, continually declared that the 
war would be over in ninety days. 
Grant's belief to the last was that 
if the capture of Fort Donelson, in 
February, 1862, had been followed 
up by the Federals with a determined 
advance over the south-west, the re- 
bellion would have collapsed. But 
the Federal generals were slow to 
perceive any advantage they had 
gained ; many of them were utterly 
incapable of perceiving it. General 
Halleck, who was Grant's superior 
officer, gave him no encouragement 
even to attack Fort Donelson ; and 
bestowed but slight and grudging 
thanks upon him after the victory. 
For venturing to push on to Nashville 
Grant was superseded, and virtually 
placed under arrest. But he was 
very soon restored to his command, 
and not long afterwards won the 
bloody battle of Shiloh, where the 
Confederates fought until they were 
literally cut to pieces. " I saw an 
open field," he writes, "over which 
the Confederates had made repeated 
charges the day before, so covered 
with dead that it would have been 
possible to walk across the clearing, 
in any direction, stepping on dead 
bodies, without a foot touching the 
ground." "The Confederate troops 
fought well," is Grant's laconic remark 
on all this heroism, repeated on so 
many fields, and always in vain. 

Donelson, Shiloh, and Vicksburg 
have generally been recognised as 
affording conclusive proofs of Grant's 
military capacity ; but his campaigns 
in Virginia are more open to question. 
The slaughter in the "Wilderness," 
where thousands of the northern 
troops were sacrificed, might have 
been avoided if Grant had clung less 
tenaciously to his resolve to "fight 
it out on that line if it took all 
summer." He had to deviate from 
that line after all, but one object 



General Grant. 



165 



which he constantly kept in view was 
accomplished by " hammering away" 
at the enemy, he had reduced Lee's 
power of resistance. The Confederate 
leader was obliged to break up 
his small force into detachments to 
meet the assaults which were delivered 
in all directions, and with a few thou- 
sand half-starved and ragged troops 
he had to face at least a hundred and 
eighty thousand men in the army of 
the Potomac. His supports were un- 
certain ; some of his subordinates 
like General Early were worse than 
useless. The commissariat arrange- 
ments had completely broken down. 
The Confederates were left almost 
without ammunition or food. Yet in 
the desperate engagements at Spott- 
sylvania, Cold Harbour, and before 
Petersburg, upwards of seventy thou- 
sand men of Grant's army were killed 
or wounded. The carnage and the 
suffering inflicted in that last cam- 
paign have never been exceeded in 
any war of modern times. 

Grant's losses were heavy, but Lee's 
slender resources were wrecked in a 
much more serious proportion, and 
there was no recruiting possible for 
the Confederates. Their dead who lay 
so thickly beneath the fields were 
children of the soil, and there were 
none to replace them. Sometimes 
whole families had been destroyed \ but 
the survivors still fought on, though 
it must have been without hope. In 
the Confederate lines round Peters- 
burg there was often absolute desti- 
tution as an officer who was there 
told me, in the Shenandoah valley, 
shortly after the end of the struggle, 
every cat and dog for miles around had 
been caught and eaten. Grant was 
pressing onwards ; Sherman's march 
had proved that the Confederacy was 
an egg-shell ; Sheridan's splendid 
cavalry was ever hovering round the 
last defenders of the bars and stripes ; 
Grant saw that all was over, and he 
invited Lee to surrender. But for a 
day or two longer Lee held out ; and 
then Grant sent him another message, 
couched in terms as gentle and cour- 
teous as he could find. All that 



further resistance could do would be 
to bring about more useless butchery, 
with inevitable defeat at the end. Yet 
the Confederates were unwilling to 
relinquish everything, and when they 
saw their general riding out sadly to 
meet the conqueror, they gave way to 
the bitterest grief. 1 There remained 
but a broken and scattered remnant of 
the proud forces of the Confederacy 
to surrender with their beloved com- 
mander. 

It was General Grant's duty to van- 
quish his foe, but he would not 
humiliate him. He declined to be 
present at the formal disbandment of 
the Southern troops, and when Lee 
handed him his sword, Grant returned 
it with a few words of manly sympa- 
thy. This act of kindness touched 
Lee deeply, for no one in the whole 
South felt more keenly the wreck of 
all the hopes which had been bound up 
in the " lost cause." The Northern 
people had made great sacrifices to 
carry on the war, but the conditions 
of the contest were necessarily more 
severe in the South. The church 
bells, the leaden roofing from the 
houses, everything that could be 
melted down, had been used for bullets. 
After Sherman's march the country 
was like a desert. Bridges, fences, 
railroads, all had disappeared. Yet 
the people still hoped that their 
favourite general, Lee, would some- 
how or other be able to turn back the 
multitudes which were arrayed against 
him. They regarded him with an 
affection which the vast reverses that 
overwhelmed him and them could not 
weaken. I saw him in one of the towns 
of the Shenandoah valley some months 
after the surrender at Appomattox. 
He was quite white, bent, and broken, 
but the welcome which met him could 
not have been more ardent if he had 
returned victorious. The women 
crowded round him, with streaming 
eyes, kissing his hand ; even the men 
were deeply moved. At that time 
there was a foolish cry among the peo- 
ple of the South. ''Let us all emigrate, it 

1 The scene was vividly described some 
years ago in an article by Mr. Francis Lawley. 



166 



General Grant. 



matters not where. Let us leave a 
land which can never be our home 
again." Lee did all he could to dis- 
courage it. There soon arose a fierce 
demand in some parts of the North, 
led by Secretary Stanton, for the 
" punishment of traitors," and but for 
Grant's interposition Lee would un- 
doubtedly have been sent to join 
Jefferson Davis in Fortress Monroe. 
Grant risked his popularity by insist- 
ing that Lee was a prisoner of war on 
parole, and that until he broke his 
parole it would be an outrage to ar- 
rest him. The controversy was active, 
and sometimes angry ; but Grant was 
immovable, and Stanton had to give 
way. The two generals never met 
afterwards. Lee continued to the last 
to set a good example to his followers 
by returning as a quiet citizen to the 
work which he found ready to his 
hands, as the president of a college. 
There he did his duty, but it is no 
mere figure of speech to say that his 
heart was broken. There are blows 
from which no man can recover from 
which, indeed, he has no wish to re- 
cover and death, when it came, was 
welcomed as a friend by General 
Lee. 

It is at the close of the rebellion, as 
I have said, that one could almost de- 
sire that General Grant's career had 
likewise closed. There were further 
triumphs in store for him, but scarcely 
any great happiness, and no real ad- 
dition to his honours. He had no am- 
bition to launch out upon the stormy 
and dangerous sea of politics, and his 
fellow commander, Sherman, wrote to 
him a most sensible and manly letter, 
earnestly advising him to keep away 
from Washington. But the Repub- 
lican party had no candidate to put 
before the country who was half so 
likely to win his way to the Presidency 
as General Grant, and in a rash mo- 
ment, as I venture to think, he con- 
sented to serve. The same considera- 
tions obliged him to become a candi- 
date for a second term of office, and 
he was elected only to find that new 
disappointments and mortifications 
awaited him. He had always been ac- 



customed to place great dependence in 
men who had once served under him, or 
for whom he had taken a liking. This 
would have been an altogether ad- 
mirable quality had his judgment of 
other men been infallible. But, 
in truth, it was far from that ; he 
made great and ruinous mistakes, and 
he rarely could be brought to see his 
mistakes, even when irreparable mis- 
chief had been done. Hence arose all 
those scandals about " whisky rings " 
and " Indian rings " which threw so 
much reproach on his second adminis- 
tration. That the President himself 
was perfectly free from corruption most 
men believed at the time, and every- 
body admits now. He was not cap- 
able of wilfully committing a dishon- 
ourable act. Some of his followers 
were not so scrupulous, and the diffi- 
culty was that Grant could not be 
brought to see that his confidence had 
been betrayed. He had been bitterly 
attacked, and he thought that his 
subordinates were assailed merely 
because they were faithful to him. I 
remember him saying to me, in the 
midst of one of the worst of all the 
outcries against a member of his estab- 
lishment, to whom he was much at- 
tached, but who was not worthy of 
that attachment, " Z. is only at- 
tacked because he is known to be my 
true friend. He has done nothing 
wrong. I do not care whom you put 
into his place, they would calumniate 
him in the same way to-morrow. 
They strike at me over his shoulder ; 
I can stand it, but it shall do him 
harm." He could not be brought 
think that any one in whom he 
trusted might possibly deceive him. 
All his sad experience seems, in 
this respect, to have been thrown 
away upon him. The firm of frau- 
dulent brokers who plundered him 
so mercilessly, and tried to strip him 
of his reputation after they had taken 
all his money, ought not to have de- 
ceived any man with even elementary 
ideas of business. Grant's credulity, 
when his confidence had once been 
secured, knew no bounds. This was 
the sole secret of all the mistakes in 



G-eneral Grant. 



167 



his career as President of the United 
States. At Washington he was no 
longer in a position where taciturnity 
and self-reliance could carry him 
through all emergencies. He had to 
depend upon others ; he was obliged 
to ask for advice, and even to act 
upon it. He liked to have men about 
him who could make themselves agree- 
able, for, in spite of his grim bearing 
and unsympathetic aspect, he was a 
warmhearted man, and enjoyed a 
little gaiety after office hours. He 
contributed not a little to this gaiety 
himself, by drawing upon a store of 
curious anecdotes of men whom he 
had known, or by remarks of a dry, 
sarcastic turn on the politicians or 
events of the day. No man could talk 
better when he was in the humour. 
He had a pleasant voice, and a simple, 
retiring manner, and was always 
ready to listen to any suggestions 
that were made to him by persons 
whom he respected. He had read a 
good deal, and thought even more, 
and he delighted in picking up infor- 
mation in the easiest of all modes 
by converse with people who had made 
a special study of the subject he 
wished to understand. When he 
talked, no words were wasted, and 
the listener could never fail to be 
impressed with his profound common- 
sense. And yet, in spite of his com- 
mon-sense, he fell so easy a prey to 
rascality. The truth is, he was not 
fit to cope with rascals. He had no 
distrust in his nature ; he was not on 
the look-out for knavery. A New 
York clerk of eighteen would have 
seen through the glaring impostures 
of the firm which dragged him down 
to ruin. Yet Grant reposed so much 
faith in that wretched firm that he 
could go and ask for a loan of a 
large sum of money to help it, as 
he supposed, through difficulties which 
were practically insurmountable. No 
great man was ever before so miser- 
ably duped. 

An ex-President of the United 
States does not occupy a very en- 
viable position. One day the head of 
the Government, the next he is no- 



body. Unless he has some lucrative 
calling to which he can return, or 
private means upon which he can 
retire, he is a source of embarrassment 
to himself and to others. The poli- 
ticians have had out of him all that 
they want, and he cannot very well 
" run " for an inferior office. In Eng- 
land we pension off old servants of the 
state perhaps a little too freely. The 
ample salary which a man receives for 
doing his appointed work is not 
thought enough to enable him to 
spend his last days in comfort, and 
therefore, whether the holders of high 
offices are in or out of harness, they 
are well taken care of. The American 
people are not so generous. Their 
Presidents are dismissed without re- 
cognition of any kind. General Arthur, 
a man of the very highest character, 
has fortunately a good profession, and 
an excellent position in that profes- 
sion, and he has gone back to his 
office from the White House as if 
nothing had happened. But when 
General Grant retired he could not 
return to the army, and he had no 
other occupation open to him. It was 
impossible that he should again set up 
in business as a tanner. He spent 
many months in making a tour of a 
large part of the world, and during 
his visit to England he saw nearly all 
our most distinguished public men, and 
formed his own opinions concerning 
them. I asked him one evening which 
of these men had struck him most. 
After a moment's consideration, he 
replied, "Mr. Disraeli. Your Mr. 
Gladstone talks the best I never 
heard a man talk so well before but 
Mr. Disraeli is more original. And 
then, you see, he does not say much. 
' I never can make out why you did 
not keep Mexico when you had got it, 
General,' he said to me the first time 
I saw him. No more can I." But in 
his ' Memoirs,' I see that Grant con- 
demns the Mexican war as unjust, and 
therefore he might have found a 
reason to give Mr. Disraeli for not 
treating Mexico after the fashion of 
Texas. 

The " third term " project was not 



168 



General Grant. 



dead when General Grant returned to 
the United States, but the American 
people looked upon it with great dis- 
like. The Republican party, or a large 
section of it, desired to nominate Grant 
again ; but the Convention at Chicago 
was much divided, and after even more 
than the usual doublings and turnings 
of the delegates, the choice fell upon 
General Garfield. Grant must now 
have known that political life was 
closed to him, and he undertook 
various commercial undertakings which 
turned out to be profitable. They were 
put into his way by friends who de- 
sired to serve him. A great deal of 
money doubtless passed through his 
hands at various times, although I 
never heard that his habits were ex- 
travagant. At any rate, he was better 
off, pecuniarily, at the close of 1883 
than he had ever been before. General 
Badeau, who knew his chief's affairs 
better than any one outside his own 
family, states that Grant himself 
estimated his fortune at this time at 
a million of dollars. This, however, 
was chiefly in the air. He was only 
sixty-one, to all appearance in perfect 
health, happy in his surroundings, and 
engaged in " business which brought 
him in an ample income." Prosperity 
and contentment seemed to be assured 
to him. But everybody who has 
studied human history, whether in 
books or on the world's great stage, 
must have observed that it is precisely 
at these periods, when all is appa- 
rently going well, that the dark fates 
so frequently descend with their in- 
exorable decrees, and darken all the 
sun of a man's life, and condemn him 
to struggle for the rest of his days 
amid the bitter waters of affliction. 
It was so with General Grant. An 
occurrence of evil omen befell him on 
Christmas Eve. He had reached his 
own door, when, in turning to pay a 
cabman, he fell upon the frozen pave- 
ment, and sustained an injury which 
was followed by an attack of pleurisy. 
From that time he was called upon to 
bid farewell to health and peace of 
mind. Already he had, at the solici- 
tation of his son, joined the firm of 



Ward and Fish, and put all his 
savings into it about twenty thou- 
sand pounds. The affair seemed to 
go on prosperously so prosperously 
that Grant, as his friend has said, 
thought he was worth a million 
of dollars. Everybody remembers 
the exposure that followed in May, 
1884. One morning Grant went down 
to the office in Wall Street, and found 
that Ward had absconded, and that he 
and his children were utterly ruined. 
Only a few days before, Ward had 
induced him to borrow one hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars under the 
pretence that this sum would enable 
him to discharge some pressing claims 
upon a bank in which the firm had 
large deposits. Grant went to Mr. 
W. H. Yanderbilt, of the New York 
Central Railway, who died so recently, 
and asked for the money as a loan. 
Thirty thousand pounds is a large sum, 
but Vanderbilt sat down and drew a 
cheque for it, and handed it to his 
visitor. The railroad king knew a 
few hours afterwards that Grant had 
been duped, and that his own money 
was lost, but he behaved throughout 
with the utmost generosity. He took 
possession of Grant's house and pro- 
perty, merely to protect them from 
other creditors. He nobly offered to 
make the whole over to Mrs. Grant, 
but the general refused. Grant had 
no idea at first that the firm with 
which his name had been identified ex- 
isted upon sheer roguery. But all the 
papers were soon full of the shameful 
story. The famous soldier saw but too 
clearly that he had been used as a 
decoy by an abominable swindler. 
House, money, books, furniture, his 
swords, and other presents the money 
of his children and many of his friends 
everything was gone, including, as 
he thought, his honour. It was after- 
wards clearly seen that he had no 
complicity whatever in the frauds 
committed by his partners that he 
was the chief of the sufferers, not in 
any way a culprit. The sympathy of 
the people went out to him ; once 
more he rallied from enfeebled health 
and a wounded spirit, and he began 






General Grant. 



169 



to believe that in time he might 
recover from this unmerited and 
disastrous blow. 

But another great calamity was 
hanging over him. A few months 
after the failure of the firm, he began 
to complain of a pain in his throat. 
Gradually it grew worse ; he could 
swallow nothing but liquid food ; doc- 
tors were consulted, various opinions 
were given, and at last the dread fact 
could no longer be concealed that his 
disease was cancer. He had already 
begun to write his ' Memoirs,' urged on 
by the one hope which now remained 
to him the hope of making some pro- 
vision for his family in place of that 
which they had lost. But the torment 
which now visited him, day and night, 
obliged him to stop. He could not 
lie down without bringing on fits of 
choking; he would sit for hours, as 
General Badeau has said, " propped 
up in his chair, with his hands clasped, 
looking at the blank wall before him, 
silent, contemplating the future ; not 
alarmed, but solemn, at the prospect 
of pain and disease, and only death at 
the end." Of all the soldiers who 
perished slowly of lingering wounds 
on battle-fields during the war, none 
suffered such protracted and cruel 
tortures as General Grant. 

Then there came a change for the 
better. The kindly messages which 
were sent to him from all classes of 
his own countrymen, north and south, 
and which flowed in upon him from 
England from the Queen herself 
greatly cheered and consoled . him. 
Again he set to work upon his book, 
determined to finish it before he died. 
He was further encouraged by the 
news that Congress had at last passed 
a bill placing him on the retired list 
of the army. His good name, he felt, 
was once more established. In June, 
1884, he seemed to be a little better, 
but the great heat of the city 
distressed him, and a villa near 
Saratoga was offered to him by a 
friend. Thither he went, still bent 
upon finishing his book. He knew 
that he could not live. Several times 



he had actually been at the point of 
death once at least he had taken 
leave of those who were so dear to 
him. His unconquerable nature alone 
kept him alive. Three families, as we 
learn from his old aide-de-camp, were 
dependent upon him. If he could 
complete his 'Memoirs' over half a 
million dollars would be earned for 
his kindred. Again and again he 
took up his pencil and paper for he 
could no longer dictate and wrote, 
slowly and laboriously, as much as he 
could. No murmur escaped him. 
Great physical prostration, accom- 
panied by inevitable mental depres- 
sion, often assailed him, but he sum- 
moned all his energies, and came back 
from the very portals of the grave. 
That his children and grandchildren 
should not be left to the tender 
mercies of the world this was the 
solitary boon he craved. And it was 
granted. He had time to write the 
last words of the last page, and then, 
on the twenty-third of July, the end 
came gently to him. With his wife 
and family still around him, he passed 
away as an over-wearied child might 
fall asleep. 

Few men had known more of the 
vicissitudes of life. He had tasted all 
the sweets, such as they are, of wild 
and unbounded popularity ; he had 
sunk into neglect ; he had seen his re- 
putation undergo total eclipse. In his 
declining years, and smitten with a fatal 
malady, he found himself reduced to 
penury, and obliged to begin the fight 
against want all over again. His- 
tory may possibly decide that he is 
not to be ranked among the greatest 
of generals or the wisest of statesmen ; 
but it will be obliged to acknowledge 
that he was the only man who proved 
himself able to bring a long and 
desperate civil war to an end ; and it 
will do justice to the ardent patriotism 
which always animated him, and to 
the intrepid soul which refused to be 
crushed even when all his little world 
stood around him in ruins. 

L. J. JENNINGS. 



170 



GEORGE BORROW. 



IN this paper I do not undertake to 
throw any new light on the little- 
known life of the author of ' Lavengro.' 
I believe that there is ground for 
hoping that, among the few people who 
knew Borrow intimately, some one 
will soon be found who will give to the 
world an account of his curious life, 
and perhaps some specimens of those 
" mountains of manuscript " which, as 
he regretfully declares, never could 
find a publisher an impossibility 
which, if I may be permitted to offer 
an opinion, does not reflect any great 
credit on publishers. For our present 
purpose it is sufficient to sum up the 
generally-known facts that Borrow 
was born in 1803 at East Dereham in 
Norfolk, his father being a captain in 
the army, who came of Cornish blood, 
his mother a lady of Norfolk birth and 
Huguenot extraction. His youth he 
has himself described in a fashion 
which nobody is likely to care to 
paraphrase. After the years of travel 
chronicled in ' Lavengro,' he seems to 
have found scope for his philological 
and adventurous tendencies in the 
rather unlikely service of the Bible 
Society ; and he sojourned in Russia and 
Spain to the great advantage of Eng- 
lish literature. This occupied him dur- 
ing the greater part of the years from 
1830 to 1840. Then he came back to 
his native county or, at any rate, his 
native district married a widow of 
some property at Lowestof t, and spent 
the last forty years of his life at 
Oulton Hall, near the piece of water 
which is thronged in summer by all 
manner of sportsmen and others. He 
died but the other day ; and even since 
his death he seems to have lacked the 
due meed of praise which the Lord 
Chief Justice of the equal foot usually 
brings even to persons far less deserving 
than Borrow. 



There is this difficulty in writing 
about him, that the audience must 
necessarily consist of fervent devotees 
on the one hand, and of complete 
infidels, or at least complete know- 
nothings, on the other. To any one 
who, having the faculty to understand 
either, has read ' Lavengro ' or ' The 
Bible in Spain,' or even ' Wild Wales,' 
praise bestowed on Borrow is apt to 
seem impertinence. To anybody else 
(and unfortunately the anybody else is 
in a large majority) praise bestowed 
on Borrow is apt to look like that very 
dubious kind of praise which is be- 
stowed on somebody of whom no one 
but the praiser has ever heard. I can- 
not think of any single writer (Peacock 
himself is not an exception) who is in 
quite parallel case. And, as usual, 
there is a certain excuse for the 
general public. Borrow kept himself 
during not the least exciting period of 
English history quite aloof from Eng- 
lish politics, and from the life of great 
English cities. But he did more than 
this. He is the only really consider- 
able writer of his time in any modern 
European nation who seems to have 
taken absolutely no interest in current 
events, literary and other. Putting a 
very few allusions aside, he might have 
belonged to almost any period. His 
political idiosyncrasy will be noticed 
presently ; but he who lived through 
the whole period from Waterloo to 
Mai wand has not, as far as I remember, 
mentioned a single English writer later 
than Scott and Byron. He saw the 
rise, and, in some instances, the death, 
of Tennyson, Thackeray, Macaulay, 
Carlyle, Dickens. There is not a 
reference to any one of them in his 
works. He saw political changes such 
as no man for two centuries had seen, 
and (except the Corn Laws, to which 
he has some half-ironical allusions, and 



George Borrow. 



in 



the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, which 
stirred his one active sentiment), he 
has referred to never a one. He seems 
in some singular fashion to have stood 
outside of all these things. His 
Spanish travels are dated for us by 
references to Dona Isabel, and Don 
Carlos,to Mr. Yilliers, and Lord Palmer- 
ston. But cut these dates out, and 
they might be travels of the last cen- 
tury. His Welsh book proclaims 
itself as written in the full course of 
the Crimean War ; but excise a few 
passages which bear directly on that 
event, and the most ingenious critic 
would be puzzled to " place " the com- 
position. Shakespeare, we know, was 
for all time, not of one age only ; but I 
think we may say of Borrow, without 
too severely or conceitedly marking 
the difference, that he was not of or 
for any particular age or time at all. 
If the celebrated query in Long- 
fellow's ' Hyperion/ " What is time 1 " 
had been addressed to him, his most 
appropriate answer, and one which he 
was quite capable of giving, would 
have been, " I really don't know." 

To this singular historical vagueness 
has to be added a critical vagueness 
even greater. I am sorry that I am 
unable to confirm or to gainsay at 
first hand Borrow's wonderfully high 
estimate of certain Welsh poets. But 
if the originals are anything like his 
translations of them, I do not think 
that Ab Gwilym and Lewis Glyn 
Cothi, Gronwy Owen and Huw Morris 
can have been quite such mighty bards 
as he makes out. Fortunately, how- 
ever, a bettor test presents itself. In 
one book of his, ' Wild Wales/ there 
are two estimates of Scott's works. 
Borrow finds in an inn a copy of 
'Woodstock' (which he calls by its 
less known title of 'The Cavalier'), 
and decides that it is " trashy ; " 
chiefly, it would appear, because 
the portrait therein contained of 
Harrison, for whom Borrow seems on 
one of his inscrutable principles of 
prejudice to have had a liking, is not 
wholly favourable. He afterwards 
informs us that Scott's 'Norman 



Horseshoe ' (no very exquisite song at 
the best, and among Scott's somewhat 
less than exquisite) is "one of the 
most stirring lyrics of modern times," 
and that he sang it for a whole even- 
ing; evidently because it recounts a 
defeat of the Normans, whom Borrow, 
as he elsewhere tells us in sundry 
places, disliked for reasons more or less 
similar to those which made him like 
Harrison, the butcher. In other 
words, he could not judge a work of 
literature as literature at all. If it 
expressed sentiments with which he 
agreed, or called up associations which 
were pleasant to him, good luck to it ; 
if it expressed sentiments with which 
he did not agree, and called up no 
pleasant associations, bad luck. 

In politics and religion this curious 
and very John Bullish unreason is 
still more apparent. I suppose Borrow 
may be called, though he does not call 
himself, a Tory. He certainly was an 
unfriend to Whiggery, and a hater of 
Radicalism. He seems to have given 
up even the Corn Laws with a certain 
amount of regret, and his general 
attitude is quite Eldonian. But he 
combined with his general Toryism 
very curious Radicalisms of detail, 
such as are to be found in Cobbett 
(who, as appeared at last, and as all 
reasonable men should have always 
known, was really a Tory of a peculiar 
type), and in several other English 
persons. The Church, the Monarchy, 
and the Constitution generally were 
dear to Borrow, but he hated all the 
aristocracy (except those whom he 
knew personally), and most of the 
gentry. Also, he had the odd Radical 
sympathy for anybody who, as the 
vernacular has it, was " kept out of 
his rights." I do not know, but I 
should think, that Borrow was a strong 
Tichbornite. In that curious book, 
' Wild Wales/ where almost more of 
his real character appears than in any 
other, he has to do with the Crimean 
War. It was going on during the 
whole time of his tour, and he once or 
twice reports conversations in which, 
from his knowledge of Russia, he 



172 



George Borrow. 



demonstrated beforehand to Welsh in- 
quirers how improbable, not to say 
impossible, it was that the Russian 
should be beaten. But the thing that 
seems really to have interested him 
most was the case of Lieutenant 

P or Lieutenant Parry, whom 

he sometimes alludes to in the fuller 
and sometimes in the less explicit 
manner. My own memories of 1854 
are rather indistinct, and I confess 
that I have not taken the trouble to 
look up this celebrated case. As far 
as I can remember, and as far as 
Borrow's references here and elsewhere 
go, it was the doubtless lamentable but 
not uncommon case of a man who is 
difficult to live with, and who has to 
live with others. Such cases occur at 
intervals in every mess, college, and 
other similar aggregation of humanity. 
The person difficult to live with gets, 
as they say at Oxford, " drawn." If 
he is reformable he takes the lesson, 
and very likely becomes excellent 
friends with those who " drew " him. 
If he is not, he loses his temper, and 
evil results of one kind or another 

follow. Borrow's Lieutenant P 

seems unluckily to have been of the 
latter kind, and was, if I mistake not, 
recommended by the authorities to 
withdraw from a situation which to 
him was evidently a false and unsuit- 
able one. With this Borrow could 
not away. He gravely chronicles the 
fact of his reading an "excellent 
article in a local paper on the case 

of Lieutenant P ; " and with no 

less gravity (though he was, in a cer- 
tain way, one of the first humorists of 
our day) he suggests that the com- 
plaints of the martyred P to the 

Almighty were probably not uncon- 
nected with our Crimean disasters. 
This curious parochialism pursues him 
into more purely religious matters. I 
do not know any other really great 
man of letters of the last three- 
quarters of a century of whose attitude 
Carlyle's famous words, "regarding 
God's universe as a larger patrimony of 
Saint Peter, from which it were well 
and pleasant to hunt the Pope," are so 



literally true. It was not in Borrow's 
case a case of sancta simplicitas. He 
has at times flashes of by no means 
orthodox sentiment, and seems to have 
fought, and perhaps hardly won, many 
a battle against the army of the 
doubters. But when it comes to the 
Pope, he is as single-minded an enthu- 
siast as John Bunyan himself, whom, 
by the way, he resembles in more 
than one point. The attitude was, 
of course, common enough among his 
contemporaries ; indeed any man who 
has come to forty years must remem- 
ber numerous examples among his own 
friends and kindred. But in literature, 
and such literature as Borrow's, it is 
rare. 

Yet again, the curiously piecemeal, 
and the curiously arbitrary character 
of Borrow's literary studies in lan- 
guages other than his own, is note- 
worthy in so great a linguist. The 
entire range of French literature, old 
as well as new, he seems to have 
ignored altogether I should imagine 
out of pure John Bullishness. He has 
very few references to German, though 
he was a good German scholar a fact 
which I account for by the other fact, 
that in his earlier literary period Ger- 
man was fashionable, and that he 
never would have anything to do 
with anything that fashion favoured. 
Italian, though he certainly knew it 
well, is equally slighted. His educa- 
tion, if not his taste for languages, 
must have made him a tolerable 
(he never could have been an exact) 
classical scholar. But it is clear that 
insolent Greece and haughty Home 
exerted no attraction upon him. I 
question whether even Spanish would 
not have been too common a toy to 
attract him much if it had not been 
for the accidental circumstances which 
connected him with Spain. 

Lastly (for I love to get my devil's 
advocate work over), in Borrow's 
varied and strangely attractive gallery 
of portraits and characters, most ob- 
servers must perceive the absence of 
the note of passion. I have sometimes 
tried to think that miraculous episode 



George Borrow. 



173 



of Isopel Berners and the Armenian 
verbs, with the whole sojourn of 
Lavengro in the dingle, a mere way- 
ward piece of irony a kind of con- 
scious ascetic myth. But I am afraid 
the interpretation will not do. The 
subsequent conversation with Ursula 
Petulengro under the hedge might be 
only a companion piece ; even the 
more wonderful, though much less in- 
teresting, dialogue with the Irish girl 
in the last chapters of ' Wild Wales ' 
might be so rendered by a hardy 
exegete. But the negative evidence 
in all the books is too strong. It may 
be taken as positively certain that 
Borrow never was "in love," as the 
phrase is, and that he had hardly the 
remotest conception of what being in 
love means. It is possible that he 
was a most cleanly liver it is possible 
that he was quite the reverse : I have 
not the slightest information either 
way. But that he never in all his life 
heard with understanding the refrain 
of the ' Pervigilium ' 

Cras amet qui nunquam amavit, quique 
amavit eras amet, 

I take as certain. 

The foregoing remarks have, I 
think, summed up all Bor row's de- 
fects, and it will be observed that even 
these defects have the attraction for 
the most part of a certain strangeness 
and oddity. If they had not been 
accompanied by great and peculiar 
merits he would not have emerged 
from the category of the merely 
bizarre, where he might have been 
left without further attention. But, 
as a matter of fact, all, or almost all, 
of his defects are not only counter- 
balanced by merits, but are them- 
selves for the most part exaggerations 
or perversions of what is in itself 
meritorious. With less wilfulness, 
with more attention to the literature, 
the events, the personages o c his own 
time, with a more critical and com- 
mon-sense attitude towards his own 
crochets, Borrow could hardly have 
wrought out for himself (as he has to 
an extent hardly paralleled by any 



other prose writer who has not de- 
liberately chosen supernatural or fan- 
tastic themes) the region of fantasy, 
neither too real nor too historical, 
which Joubert thought proper to the 
poet. Strong and vivid as Borrow' s 
drawing of places and persons is, he 
always contrives to throw in touches 
which somehow give the whole the air 
of being rather a vision than a fact. 
Never was such a John-a-Dreams as 
this solid, pugilistic John Bull Part 
of this literary effect of his is due to 
his quaint habit of avoiding, where 
he can, the mention of proper names. 
The description, for instance, of Old 
Sarum and Salisbury itself in * Laven- 
gro ' is sufficient to identify them to 
the most careless reader, even if the 
name of Stonehenge had not occurred 
on the page before ; but they are not 
named. The description of Bettws-y- 
Coed in 'Wild Wales/ though less 
poetical, is equally vivid. Yet here it 
would be quite possible for a reader, 
who did not know the place and its 
relation to other named places, to pass 
without any idea of the actual spot. 
It is the same with his frequent refer- 
ences to his beloved city of Norwich, 
and his less frequent references to his 
later home at Oulton. A paraphrase, 
an innuendo, a word to the wise he 
delights in, but anything perfectly 
clear and precise he abhors. And by 
this means and others, which it might 
be tedious to trace out too closely, he 
succeeds in throwing the same cloudy 
vagueness over times as well as places 
and persons. A famous passage 
perhaps the best known, and not far 
from the best he ever wrote about 
Byron's funeral, fixes, of course, the 
date of the wondrous facts or fictions 
recorded in 'Lavengro ' to a nicety. Yet 
who, as he reads it and its sequel (for 
the separation of '.Lavengro' and 'The 
Romany Rye ' is merely arbitrary, 
though the second book is, as a 
whole, less interesting than the for- 
mer), ever thinks of what was actually 
going on in the very positive and 
prosaic England of 1824-51 The 
later chapters of 'Lavengro' are the 



174 



George Borrow. 



only modern * Romance of Adventure ' 
that I know. The hero goes " over- 
thwart and endlong," just like the 
figures whom all readers know in 
Malory, and some in his originals. I 
do not know that it would be more 
surprising if Borrow had found Sir 
Ozana dying at the chapel in Lyonesse, 
or had seen the full function of the 
Grail, though fear he would have pro- 
tested against that as popish. Without 
any apparent art, certainly without 
the elaborate apparatus which most 
prose tellers of fantastic tales use, and 
generally fail in using, Borrow spirits 
his readers at once away from mere 
reality. If his events are frequently 
as odd as a dream, they are always 
as perfectly commonplace and real for 
the moment as the events of a dream 
are a little fact which the above- 
mentioned tellers of the above-men- 
tioned fantastic stories are too apt 
to forget. It is in this natural roman- 
tic gift that Borrow' s greatest charm 
lies. But it is accompanied and nearly 
equalled both in quality and degree 
by a faculty for dialogue. Except 
Defoe and Dumas, I cannot think 
of any novelists who contrive to tell 
a story in dialogue and to keep up 
the ball of conversation so well as 
Borrow ; while he is considerably the 
superior of both in pure style and in 
the literary quality of his talk. Bor- 
row' s humour, though it is of the 
general class of the older English 
that is to say, the pre-Addisonian 
humorists is a species quite by itself. 
It is rather narrow in range, a little 
garrulous, busied very often about curi- 
ously small matters, but wonderfully 
observant and true, and possessing a 
quaint dry savour as individual as 
that of some wines. A characteristic 
of this kind probably accompanies the 
romantic Ethos more commonly than 
superficial judges both of life and 
literature are apt to suppose ; but 
the conjunction is nowhere seen better 
than in Borrow. Whether humour 
can or cannot exist without a dispo- 
sition to satire co-existing, is one of 
those abstract points of criticism for 



which the public of the present day 
has little appetite. It is certain (and 
that is what chiefly concerns us for 
the present) that the two were not 
dissociated in Borrow. His purely 
satirical faculty was very strong in- 
deed, and probably if he had lived a 
less retired life it would have found 
fuller exercise. At present the most 
remarkable instance of it which exists 
is the inimitable portrait-caricature of 
the learned Unitarian, generally known 
as "Taylor of Norwich." I have 
somewhere (I think it was in MissMar- 
tineau's * Autobiography ') seen this 
reflected on as a flagrant instance of 
ingratitude and ill-nature. The good 
Harriet, among whose numerous gifts 
nature had not included any great 
sense of humour, naturally did not 
perceive the artistic justification of 
the sketch, which I do not hesitate to 
call one of the most masterly things 
of the kind in literature. 

Another Taylor, the well-known 
French baron of that name, is much 
more mildly treated, though with little 
less skill of portraiture. As for " the 
publisher " of ' Lavengro,' the portrait 
there, though very clever, is spoilt by 
rather too much evidence of personal 
animus, and by the absence of re- 
deeming strokes; but it shows the 
same satiric power as the sketch of 
the worthy student of German who 
has had the singular ill-fortune to 
have his books quizzed by Carlyle, 
and himself quizzed by Borrow. It 
is a strong evidence of Borrow's ab- 
straction from general society that 
with this satiric gift, and evidently 
with a total freedom from scruple as 
to its application, he should have left 
hardly anything else of the kind. It 
is indeed impossible to ascertain 
how much of the abundant character- 
drawing in his four chief books (all 
of which, be it remembered, are auto- 
biographic and professedly historical) 
is fact and how much fancy. It is 
almost impossible to open them any- 
where without coming upon personal 
sketches, more or less elaborate, in 
which the satiric touch is rarely 






George Borrow. 



175 



wanting. The official admirer of 
" the grand Baintham " at remote 
Corcubion, the end of all the Euro- 
pean world ; the treasure-seeker, Bene- 
dict Mol ; the priest at Cordova, with 
his revelations about the Holy Office ; 
the Gibraltar Jew, are only a few 
figures out of the abundant gallery of 
'The Bible in Spain.' 'Lavengro,' 
besides the capital and full-length por- 
traits above referred to, is crowded 
with others hardly inferior, among 
which only one failure, the disguised 
priest with the mysterious name, is 
to be found. Not that even he has not 
good strokes and plenty of them, but 
that Borrow's prejudices prevented 
his hand from being free. But Jasper 
Petulengro, and Mrs. Hearne, and the 
girl Leonora, and Isopel, that vigorous 
and slighted maid, and dozens of 
minor figures, of whom more presently, 
atone for him. * The Romany Rye ' 
adds only minor figures to the gallery, 
because the major figures have ap- 
peared before ; while the plan and 
subject of ' Wild Wales ' also exclude 
anything more than vignettes. But 
what admirable vignettes they are, 
and how constantly bitten in with 
satiric spirit all lovers of Borrow 
know. 

It is, however, perhaps time to give 
some more exact account of the books 
thus familiarly and curiously referred 
to ; for Borrow most assuredly is not 
"a popular writer." I do not know 
whether his death, as often happens, 
sent readers to his books. But I 
know for a fact that not long before 
it * Lavengro, 5 ' The Romany Rye/ and 
* Wild Wales ' were only in their third 
edition, though the first was nearly 
thirty, and the last nearly twenty, 
years old. ' The Bible in Spain ' had, 
at any rate in its earlier days, a wider 
sale, but I do not think that even 
it is very generally known. I should 
doubt whether the total number 
sold during more than forty years 
of volumes surpassed for interest 
of incident, style, character and de- 
scription by few books of the cen- 
tury, has equalled the sale within 



any one of the last few years of a fairly 
popular book by any fairly popular 
novelist of to-day. It probably would 
not approach a tenth or a twentieth 
of the sale of such a thing as ' Called 
Back.' And there is not the obstacle 
to Borrow's popularity that there is 
to that of some other writers, not- 
ably the already-mentioned author of 
'Crotchet Castle.' No extensive literary 
cultivation is necessary to read him. 
A good deal even of his peculiar 
charm may be missed by a prosaic or 
inattentive reader, and yet enough 
will remain. But he has probably 
paid the penalty of all originality, 
which allows itself to be mastered by 
quaintness, and which refuses to meet 
public taste at least half way. It 
is certainly difficult at times to know 
what to make of Borrow. And the 
general public, perhaps excusably, is 
apt not to like things or persons when 
it does not know what to make of 
them. 

Borrow's literary work, even putting 
aside the "mountains of manuscript" 
which he speaks of as unpublished, 
was not inconsiderable. There were, 
in the first place, his translations, 
which, though no doubt not without 
value, do not much concern us here. 
There is, secondly, his early hack 
work, his ' Chaines de 1'Esclavage,' 
which also may be neglected. Thirdly, 
there are his philological speculations 
or compilations, the chief of which is, 
I believe, his ' Romano-Lavo-Lil,' the 
latest published of his works. But 
Borrow, though an extraordinary lin- 
guist, was a somewhat unchastened 
philologer, and the results of his life- 
long philological studies appear to 
much better advantage from the 
literary than from the scientific point 
of view. Then there is The Gypsies in 
Spain,' a very interesting book of its 
kind, marked throughout with Bor- 
row's characteristics, but for literary 
purposes merged to a great extent 
in The Bible in Spain.' And, lastly, 
there are the four original books, as 
they may be called, which, at great 
leisure, and writing simply because he 



176 



George Borrow. 



chose to write, Borrow produced during 
the twenty years of his middle age. 
He was in his fortieth year when, in 
1842, he published 'The Bible in 
Spain.' * La.vengro ' came nearly ten 
years later, and coincided with (no 
doubt it was partially stimulated by) 
the ferment over the Ecclesiastical 
Titles Bill. Its second part, * The 
Romany Rye,' did not appear for six 
years, that is to say, in 1857, and its 
resuscitation of quarrels, which the 
country had quite forgotten (and when 
it remembered them was rather 
ashamed of), must be pronouncd un- 
fortunate. Last came ' Wild Wales,' 
in 1862, the characteristically belated 
record of a tour in the principality 
during the year of the Crimean War. 
On these four books Sorrow's literary 
fame rests. His other works are in- 
teresting because they were written 
by the author of these, or because of 
their subjects, or because of the effect 
they had on other men of letters, 
notably Longfellow and Merimee, on 
the latter of whom Borrow had an 
especially remarkable influence. These 
four are interesting of themselves. 

The earliest has, I believe been, and 
for reasons quite apart from its bibli- 
cal subject perhaps deserves to be, the 
greatest general favourite, though its 
literary value is a good deal below that 
of 'Lavengro.' 'The Bible in Spain' 
records the journeys, which, as an 
agent of the Bible Society,-; Borrow 
took through the Peninsula at a sin- 
gularly interesting time, the disturbed 
years of the early reign of Isabel 
Segunda. Navarre and Aragon, with 
Catalonia, Valencia and Murcia, he 
seems to have left entirely unvisited ; 
I suppose because of the Carlists. 
Nor did he attempt the southern part 
of Portugal; but Castile and Leon, 
with the north of Portugal and the 
south of Spain, he quartered in the 
most interesting manner, riding every- 
where with his servant and his saddle- 
bag of Testaments at, I should suppose, 
a considerable cost to the subscribers 
of the Society and it may be hoped, at 
some gain to the propagation of evan- 



gelical principles in the Peninsula, 
but certainly with the results of ex- 
treme satisfaction to himself and of a 
very delightful addition to English 
literature. He was actually im- 
prisoned at Madrid, and was fre- 
quently in danger from Carlists and 
brigands, and severely orthodox eccle- 
siastics. It is possible to imagine a 
more ideally perfect missionary ; but 
it is hardly possible to imagine a more 
ideally perfect traveller. His early 
habits of roughing it, his gipsy initia- 
tion, his faculties as a linguist, and 
his other faculties as a born vagrant, 
certain to fall on his feet anywhere, 
were all called into operation. But 
he might have had all these advant- 
ages and yet lacked the extraordinary 
literary talent which the book reveals. 
In the first chapter there is a certain 
stiffness ; but the passage of the 
Tagus in the second must have told 
every competent reader in 1842 that 
he had somebody to read quite differ- 
ent from the run of common writers, 
and thenceforward the book never 
flags till the end. How far the story 
is rigidly historical I should be very 
sorry to have to decide. The author 
makes a kind of apology in his preface 
for the amount of fact which has been 
supplied from memory. I dare say the 
memory was quite trustworthy, and 
certainly adventures are to the adven- 
turous. We have had daring travel- 
lers enough during the last half cen- 
tury, but I do not know that any one 
has ever had quite such a romantic 
experience as Sorrow's ride across the 
Hispano-Portuguese frontier with a 
gipsy contrabandista, who was at the 
time a very particular object of police 
inquiry. I dare say the interests of 
the Bible Society required the adven- 
turous journey to the wilds of Finis- 
terra. But I feel that if that associa- 
tion had been a mere mundane com- 
pany and Borrow its agent, trouble- 
some shareholders might have asked 
awkward questions at the annual 
meeting. Still, this sceptical attitude 
is only part of the ofncial duty of the 
critic, just as, of course, Sorrow's 



George Borrow. 



177 



adventurous journeys into the most 
remote and interesting parts of Spain 
were part of the duty of the colpor- 
teur. The book is so delightful that, 
except when duty calls, no one would 
willingly take any exception to any 
part or feature of it. The constant 
change of scene, the romantic episodes 
of adventure, the kaleidoscope of 
characters, the crisp dialogue, the 
quaint reflection and comment relieve 
each other without a break. I do not 
know whether it is really true to 
Spain and Spanish life, and, to tell the 
exact truth, I do not in the least care. 
If it is not Spanish it is remarkably 
human and remarkably literary, and 
those are the chief and principal 
things. 

' Lavengro,' which followed, has all 
the merits of its predecessor and 
more. It is a little spoilt in its later 
chapters by the purpose, the anti- 
papal purpose, which appears still 
more fully in ' The Romany Rye.' But 
the strong and singular individuality 
of its flavour as a whole would have 
been more than sufficient to carry off 
a greater fault. There are, I should 
suppose, few books the successive 
pictures of which leave such an im- 
pression on the reader who is prepared 
to receive that impression. The word 
picture is here rightly used, for in 
all Borrow' s books -more or less, and 
in this particularly, thie narrative is 
anything but continuous. It is a suc- 
cession of dissolving views which grow 
clear and distinct for a time and then 
fade off into a vagueness before once 
more appearing distinctly ; nor has 
this mode of dealing with a subject 
ever been more successfully applied 
than in 'Lavengro.' At the same 
time the mode is one singularly diffi- 
cult of treatment by any reviewer. To 
describe * Lavengro ' with any chance 
of distinctness to those who have not 
read it, it would be necessary to give 
a series of sketches in words, like 
those famous ones of the pictures in 
' Jane Eyre.' East Dereham, the Yiper 
Collector, the French Prisoners at 
Norman Cross, the Gipsy Encampment, 

No. 315. VOL. LIII. 



the Sojourn in Edinburgh (with a 
passing view of Scotch schoolboys 
only inferior, as everything is, to Sir 
Walter's history of Green-breeks), the 
Irish Sojourn, with the horse whisper- 
ing and the " dog of peace," the 
settlement in Norwich with Borrow' s 
compulsory legal studies and his 
very uncompulsory excursions into 
Italian, Hebrew, Welsh, Scandinavian, 
anything that obviously would not 
pay, the new meeting with the gipsies 
in the castle field, the fight only the 
first of many excellent fights these 
are but a few of the memories which 
rise to every reader of even the early 
chapters of this extraordinary book, 
and they do not cover its first hundred 
pages in the common edition. Then 
his father dies and the born vagrant 
is set loose for vagrancy. He goes to 
London, with a stock of translations 
which is to make him famous, and a 
recommendation from Taylor of Nor- 
wich to "the publisher." The pub- 
lisher exacted something more than 
his pound of flesh in the form of 
Newgate Lives and review articles, and 
paid, when he did pay, in bills of un- 
certain date which were very likely to 
be protested. But Borrow won through 
it all, making odd acquaintances with 
a young man of fashion (his least life- 
like sketch) ; with an apple-seller on 
London Bridge, who was something 
of a " fence " and had erected Moll 
Flanders (surely the oddest patroness 
ever so selected) into a kind of patron 
saint ; with a mysterious Armenian 
merchant of vast wealth, whom the 
young man, according to his own 
account, finally put on a kind of fili- 
bustering expedition against both the 
Sublime Porte and the White Czar, for 
the restoration of Armenian indepen- 
dence. I do not know whether there 
is any record of the result : perhaps 
Mr. Hagopian will tell us when he 
next writes to the ' Times.' At last, 
out of health with perpetual work and 
low living, out of employ, his friends 
beyond call, he sees destruction before 
him, writes * The Life and Adventures 
of Joseph Sell' (name of fortunate 



178 



George Borrow. 



omen !) almost at a heat and on a 
capital, fixed and floating, of eighteen- 
pence, and disposes of it for twenty 
pounds by the special providence of 
the Muses. With this twenty pounds 
his journey into the blue distance 
begins. He travels partly by coach 
to (I suppose Amesbury, at any 
rate) somewhere near Salisbury, and 
gives the first of the curiously un- 
favourable portraits of stage coach- 
men, which remain to check Dickens's 
rose-coloured representations (no pun 
is intended) of Mr. Weller and his 
brethren. I incline to think that 
Borrow's was likely to be the truest 
picture. According to him, the aver- 
age stage coachman was anything but 
an amiable character, greedy, insolent 
to all but persons of wealth and rank, 
a hanger-on of those who might claim 
either ; bruiser enough to be a bully 
but not enough to be anything more ; 
in short, one of the worst products of 
civilisation. From civilisation itself, 
however, Borrow soon disappears, at 
least as any traceable signs go. He 
journeys not farther west, but north- 
wards into the West Midlands and the 
marshes of Wales. He buys a tinker's 
beat and fit-out from a feeble vessel 
of the craft, who has been expelled by 
"the Flaming Tinman," a half -gipsy 
of robustious behaviour. He is met by 
old Mrs. Hearne, the mother-in-law of 
his gipsy friend Jasper Petulengro, 
who resents a Gorgio's initiation in 
gipsy ways, and very nearly poisons 
him by the wily aid of her grand- 
daughter Leonora. He recovers, thanks 
to a Welsh travelling preacher and to 
castor oil. And then when the Welsh- 
man hag left him comes the climax 
and turning point of the whole story, 
the great fight with Jem Bosvile, " the 
Flaming Tinman." The much abused 
adjective Homeric belongs in sober 
strictness to this immortal battle, 
which has the additional interest not 
thought of by Homer (for goddesses 
do not count) that Borrow's second 
and guardian angel is a young woman of 
great attractions and severe morality, 
Miss Isopel (or Belle) Berners, whose 



extraction, allowing for the bar sin- 
ister, is honourable, and who, her 
hands being fully able to keep her 
head, has sojourned without ill for- 
tune in " the Flaming Tinman's " 
very disreputable company. Bosvile, 
vanquished by pluck and good fortune 
rather than strength, flees the place 
with his wife. Isopel remains behind 
and the couple take up their joint 
residence, a residence of perfect pro- 
priety, in this dingle, the exact locality 
of which I have always longed to 
know, that I might make an autumnal 
pilgrimage to it. Isopel, Brynhild as 
she is, would apparently have had no 
objection to be honourably wooed. But 
her eccentric companion confines him- 
self to teaching her " I love," in Arme- 
nian, which she finds unsatisfactory; 
and she at last departs, leaving a letter 
which tells Mr. Borrow some home 
truths. But before this catastrophe 
has been reached, ' Lavengro ' itself 
ends with a more startling abruptness 
than perhaps any nominally complete 
book before or since. 

It would be a little interesting to 
know whether the continuation, * The 
Romany Bye/ which opens as if there 
had been no break whatever, was 
written continuously or with a break. 
At any rate its opening chapters con- 
tain the finish of the lamentable 
history of Belle Berners, which must 
induce every reader of sensibility to 
trust that Borrow, in writing it, was 
only indulging in his very considerable 
faculty of perverse romancing. The 
chief argument to the contrary is, that 
surely no man, however imbued with 
romantic perversity, would have made 
himself cut so poor a figure as Borrow 
here does without cause. The gipsies 
re -appear to save the situation, and a 
kind of minor Belle Berners drama is 
played out with Ursula, Jasper's sister. 
Then the story takes another of its 
abrupt turns. Jasper, half in gener- 
osity it would appear, half in way- 
wardness, insists on Borrow purchasing 
a thorough-bred horse which is for 
sale, advances the money, and de- 
spatches him across England to Horn- 



George Borrow. 



179 



castle Fair to sell it. The usual Le 
Sage-like adventures occur, the oddest 
of which is the hero's residence for 
some considerable time as clerk and 
storekeeper at a great roadside inn. 
At last he reaches Horncastle, sells 
the horse to advantage, and the story 
closes as abruptly and mysteriously 
almost as that of Lavengro, by a long 
and in parts, it must be confessed, 
rather dull conversation between the 
hero, the Hungarian who has bought 
the horse, and the dealer who has 
acted as go-between. This dealer in 
honour of Borrow, of whom he has 
heard through the gipsies, executes 
the wasteful and very meaningless 
ceremony of throwing two bottles of 
old rose champagne, at a guinea a- 
piece, through the window. Even this 
is too dramatic a finale for Borrow' s 
unconquerable singularity, and he adds 
a short dialogue between himself and 
a recruiting sergeant. And after this 
again there comes an appendix con- 
taining an apologia for ' Lavengro,' a 
great deal more polemic against Ro- 
manism, some historical views of more 
originality than exactness, and a dia- 
tribe against gentility, Scotchmen, 
Scott, and other black beasts of Bor- 
row' s. This appendix has received 
from some professed admirers of the 
author a great deal more attention 
than it deserves. In the first place, 
it was evidently written in a fit of 
personal pique ; in the second, it is 
chiefly argumentative, and Borrow had 
absolutely no argumentative faculty. 
That it contains a great deal of quaint 
and piquant writing is only to say 
that its writer wrote it, and though 
the description of " Charlie-over-the- 
waterism " probably does not apply 
to any being who ever lived, except 
to a few schoolgirls of both sexes, it 
has a strong infusion of Borrow's 
satiric gift. As for the diatribes 
against gentility, Borrow has only 
done very clumsily what Thackeray 
had done long before without clumsi- 
ness. It can escape nobody who has 
read his books with a seeing eye that 
he was himself exceedingly proud, not 



merely of being a gentleman in the 
ethical sense, but of being one in the 
sense of station and extraction which, 
by the way, the decriers of British 
snobbishness usually are, so that no 
special blame attaches to Borrow for 
the inconsistency. Only let it be under- 
stood, once for all, that to describe 
him as " the apostle of the ungenteel " 
is either to speak in riddles or quite 
to misunderstand his real merits and 
abilities. 

I believe that some of the small but 
fierce tribe of Borrovians are inclined 
to resent the putting of the last of 
this remarkable series, ' Wild Wales,' 
on a level with the other three. With 
such I can by no means agree. ' Wild 
Wales ' has not, of course, the charm of 
unfamiliar scenery and the freshness 
of youthful impression which distin- 
guish ' The Bible in Spain ' ; it does 
not attempt anything like the novel- 
interest of ' Lavengro ' and ' The 
Romany Rye ' ; and though, as has 
been pointed out above, something of 
Borrow's secret and mysterious way of 
indicating places survives, it is a pretty 
distinct itinerary over great part of 
the actual principality. I have fol- 
lowed most of its tracks on foot my- 
self, and nobody who wants a Welsh 
guide-book can take a pleasanter one, 
though he might easily find one much 
less erratic. It may thus have, to 
superficial observers, a positive and 
prosaic flavour as compared with 
the romantic character of the other 
three. But this distinction is not real. 
The tones are a little subdued, as 
was likely to be the case with an 
elderly gentleman of fifty, travelling 
with his wife and step-daughter, and 
not publishing the record of his travels 
till he was nearly ten years older. 
The localities are traceable on the 
map and in Murray, instead of being 
the enchanted dingles and the half- 
mythical woods of 'Lavengro.' The 
personages of the former books return 
no more, though with one of his most 
excellent touches of art, the author 
has suggested the contrast of youth 
and age by a single gipsy interview 

N 2 



180 



George Borrow. 



in one of the later chapters. Borrow, 
like all sensible men, was at no time 
indifferent to good food and drink, 
especially good ale ; but the trencher 
plays in ' Wild Wales ' a part, the im- 
portance of which may perhaps have 
shocked some of our latter-day deli- 
cates, to whom strong beer is a 
word of loathing, and who wonder 
how on earth our grandfathers and 
fathers used to dispose of " black 
strap." A very different set of readers 
may be repelled by the strong literary 
colour of the book, which is almost a 
Welsh anthology in parts. But those 
few who can boast themselves to find 
the whole of a book, not merely its 
parts, and to judge it when found, 
will, I think, be not least fond of 
* Wild Wales.' If they have, as every 
reader of Borrow should have, the 
spirit of the roads upon them, and are 
never more happy than when jour- 
neying on " Shanks his mare," they 
will, of course, have in addition a 
private and personal love for it. It 
is, despite the interludes of literary 
history, as full of Borrow' s peculiar 
conversational gift as any of its pre- 
decessors. Its thumbnail sketches, 
if somewhat more subdued and less 
elaborate, are not less full of charac- 
ter. John Jones, the Dissenting 
weaver, who served Borrow at once 
as a guide and a whetstone of 
Welsh in the neighbourhood of Llan- 
gollen ; the " kenfigenous " Welsh- 
woman who first, but by no means 
last, exhibited the curious local jea- 
lousy of a Welsh-speaking English- 
man ; the doctor and the Italian 
barometer-seller at Cerrig-y-Drudion ; 
the " best Pridydd of the world " in 
Anglesey, with his unlucky addiction 
to beer and flattery; the waiter at 
Bala ; the " ecclesiastical cat" (a cat 
worthy to rank with those of Southey 
and Gautier) ; the characters of the 
walk across the hills from Machynlleth 
to the Devil's Bridge ; the scene at 
the public-house on the Glamorgan 
border, where the above mentioned 
jealousy comes out so strongly; the 
mad Irishwoman, Johanna Colgan (a 



masterpiece by herself) ; and the Irish 
girl, with her hardly inferior history 
of the faction-fights of Scotland Road 
(which Borrow, by a mistake, has put 
in Manchester instead of in Liverpool) ; 
these make a list which I have written 
down merely as they occurred to me, 
without opening the book, and with- 
out prejudice to another list nearly as 
long which might be added. Wild 
Wales,' too, because of its easy and 
direct opportunity of comparing its 
description with the originals, is par- 
ticularly valuable as showing how 
sober, and yet how forcible Borrow' s 
descriptions are. As to incident, one 
often, as before, suspects him of ro- 
. mancing, and it stands to reason that 
his dialogue, written long after the 
event, must be full of the "cocked- 
hat-and- sword " style of narrative. 
But his description, while it has 
all the vividness, has also all the 
faithfulness and sobriety of the best 
landscape-painting. See a place which 
Kingsley or Mr. Huskin, or some other 
master of our decorative school, have 
described much more one which has 
fallen into the hands of the small fry 
of their imitators and you are almost 
sure to find that it has been overdone. 
This is never, or hardly ever, the case 
with Borrow, and it is so rare a merit, 
when it is found in a man who does 
not shirk description where necessary, 
that it deserves to be counted to him 
at no grudging rate. 

But there is no doubt that the 
distinguished feature of the book is 
its survey of Welsh poetical literature. 
I have already confessed that I am not 
qualified to judge the accuracy of 
Sorrow's translations, and by no 
means disposed to overvalue them. 
But any one who takes an interest in 
literature at all, must, I think, feel 
that interest not a little excited by the 
curious Old Mortality-like peregrina- 
tions which the author of 'Wild Walts' 
made to the birth-place, or the burial- 
place as it might be, of bard after bard, 
and by the short but masterly accounts 
which he gives of the objects of his 
search. Of none of the numerous 



George Borrow. 



181 



subjects of his linguistic rovings does 
Borrow seem to have been fonder, 
putting Romany aside, than of Welsh. 
He learnt it in a peculiarly contraband 
manner originally, which, no doubt, 
endeared it to him ; it was little known 
to and often ridiculed by most English- 
men, which was another attraction ; 
and it was extremely unlikely to 
" pay " in any way, which was a third. 
Perhaps he was not such an adept in 
it, as he would have us believe the 
respected Cymmrodorion Society or Pro- 
fessor Rhys must settle that. But it 
needs no knowledge of Welsh what- 
ever to perceive the genuine enthusiasm, 
and the genuine range of his acquaint- 
ance with the language from the purely 
literary side. When he tells us that 
Ab Gwilym was a greater poet than 
Ovid or Chaucer I feel considerable 
doubts whether he was quite competent 
to understand Ovid and little or no 
doubt that he has done wrong to 
Chaucer. But when, leaving these idle 
comparisons, he luxuriates in details 
about AbG wilym himself , and his poems, 
and his lady loves, and so forth, I have 
no doubt about Sorrow's appreciation 
(casual prejudices always excepted) of 
literature. Nor is the charm which 
he has added to Welsh scenery by this 
constant identification of it with the 
men, and the deeds, and the words of 
the past to be easily exaggerated. 

Little has been said hitherto of 
Borrow's more purely, or if anybody 
prefers the word formally, literary 
characteristics. They are sufficiently 
interesting. He unites with a general 
plainness of speech and writing, not 
unworthy of Defoe or Cobbett, a very 
odd and complicated mannerism, which, 
as he had the wisdom to make it the 
seasoning and not the main substance 
of his literary fare, is never disgusting. 
The secret of this may be, no doubt, 
in part sought in his early familiarity 
with a great many foreign languages, 
some of whose idioms he transplanted 
into English, but this is by no means 
the whole of the receipt. Perhaps it 
is useless to examine analytically that 
receipt's details, or rather (for the 



analysis may be said to be compulsory 
on any one who calls himself a critic), 
useless to offer its results to the 
reader. One point which can escape 
no one who reads with his eyes open 
is the frequent, yet not too abun- 
dant repetition of the same or very 
similar words a point wherein much 
of the style of persons so dissimilar as 
Carlyle, Borrow, and Thackeray con- 
sists. This is a well-known fact so 
well-known indeed that when a person 
who desires to acquire style hears of 
it, he often goes and does likewise, 
with what result all reviewers know. 
The peculiarity of Borrow as far as I 
can mark it, is that, despite his strong 
mannerism, he never relies on it as too 
many others, great and small, are wont 
to do. His character sketches, of 
which, as I have said, he is so abund- 
ant a master, are always put in the 
plainest and simplest English. So are 
his flashes of ethical reflection, which, 
though like all ethical reflections often 
one-sided, are of the first order of 
insight. I really do not know that, in 
the mint and anise and cummin order 
of criticism, I have more than one 
charge to make against Borrow. That 
is that he, like other persons of his 
own and the immediately preceding 
time, is wont to make a most absurd 
misuse of the word individual. With 
Borrow " individual " means simply 
" person " : a piece of literary gentility 
of which he of all others ought to 
have been ashamed. 

But such criticism would be pecu- 
liarly out of place in the case of Bor- 
row whose attraction is one neither 
mainly nor in any very great degree 
one of pure form. His early critics 
compared him, and the comparison is 
natural, to Le Sage. It was natural I 
say, but it was not extraordinarily 
critical. Both men wrote of vagabonds, 
and to some extent of picaroons ; both 
neglected the conventionalities of their 
own language and literature ; both had 
a singular knowledge of human nature. 
But Le Sage is one of the most imper- 
sonal of all great writers, and Borrow 
is one of the most personal. And it 



182 



George Borrow. 



is undoubtedly in the revelation of his 
personality that great part of his 
charm lies. It is, as has been fully 
acknowledged, a one-sided wrong- 
headed not always quite right-hearted 
personality. But it is intensely English, 
possessing at the same time a certain 
strain of romance which the other 
John Bulls of literature mostly lack, 
and which John Bunyan, the king of 
them all, only reached within the 
limits, still more limited than Borrow's, 
of purely religious, if not purely eccle- 
siastical, interests. A born grumbler ; 
a person with an intense appetite for 
the good things of this life ; profoundly 
impressed with and at the same time 
sceptically critical of the bad or good 
things of another life ; apt, as he some- 
where says himself, "to hit people 
when he is not pleased " ; illogical ; 
constantly right in general despite his 
extremely roundabout ways of reach- 
ing his conclusion ; sometimes absurd, 
and yet full of humour ; alternately pro- 
saic and capable of the highest poetry ; 
George Borrow, Cornishman on the 
father's side and Huguenot on the 
mother's, managed to display in per- 
fection most of the characteristics of 
what once was, and let us hope has 
not quite ceased to be, the English 
type. If he had a slight overdose of 
Celtic blood and Celtic peculiarity, it 
was more than made up by the readi- 
ness of literary expression which it 
gave him. He, if any one, bore an 
English heart, though, as there often 
has been, there was something perhaps 
more than English as well as less than 
it in his fashion of expression. 

To conclude, Borrow has what 
after all is the chief mark of a 
great writer distinction. "Try to 
be like somebody," said the unlucky 
critic-bookseller to Lamartine; and he 
has been gibbeted for it very justly 
for the best part of a century. It 
must be admitted that " try not to 
be like other people," though a much 
more fashionable is likely to be quite 
as disastrous a recommendation. But 
the great writers, whether they try to 
be like other people or try not to be 



like them (and sometimes in the first 
case most of all), succeed only in 
being themselves, and that is what 
Borrow does. His attraction is rather 
complex, and different parts of it may, 
and no doubt do, appeal with differ- 
ing force to this and that reader. One 
may be fascinated by his pictures of 
an unconventional and open air life, 
the very possibilities of which are to 
a great extent lost in our days, though 
patches of ground here and there in 
England (notably the tracts of open 
ground between Cromer and Wells in 
Borrow's own county) still recall 
them. To others he may be attractive 
for his sturdy patriotism, or his ad- 
venturous and wayward spirit, or his 
glimpses of superstition and romance. 
The racy downrightnes of his talk ; 
the axioms, such as that to the Welsh 
alewife, " The goodness of ale depends 
less upon who brews it than upon 
what it is brewed of " ; or the sarcas- 
tic touches as that of the dapper shop- 
keeper, who, regarding the funeral 
of Byron, observed, " I too, am fre- 
quently unhappy," each and all may 
have their votaries. His literary de- 
votion to literature would, perhaps, of 
itself attract few; for, as has been 
hinted, it partook very much of the 
character of will-worship, and there 
are few people who like any will- 
worship in letters except their own ; 
but it adds to the general attraction 
no doubt in the case of many. That 
neither it, nor any of his other claims, 
has yet forced itself as it should on the 
general public is an undoubted fact ; 
not very difficult, perhaps, to under- 
stand, though rather difficult fully to 
explain, at least without some air of 
superior knowingness and taste. Yet 
he has, as has been said, his devotees, 
and I think they are likely rather to 
increase than to decrease. He wants 
editing, for his allusive fashion of 
writing probably makes a great part of 
him nearly unintelligible to those who 
have not from their youth up devoted 
themselves to the acquisition of useless 
knowledge. There ought to be a 
good life of him, of which, I believe, 



George Borrow. 



183 



there is at last some chance. The 
great mass of his translations, pub- 
lished and unpublished, and the 
smaller mass of his early hackwork, 
no doubt deserves judicious excerption. 
If professed philologers were not even 
more ready than most other special- 
ists each to excommunicate all the 
others except himself and his own 
particular Johnny Dods of Farthing's 
Acre, it would be rather interesting to 
hear what some modern men of many 
languages have to say to Sorrow's 
linguistic achievements. But all these 
things are only desirable embellish- 
ments and assistances. His real 
claims and his real attractions are 
comprised in four small volumes, 
the purchase of which, under modern 
arrangements of booksellers, leaves 
some change out of a sovereign, and 
which will about half fill the ordinary 
bag used for briefs and dynamite. 
It is not a large literary baggage, 
and it does not attempt any very 
varied literary kinds. If not exactly 
a novelist in any one of his books, 
Borrow is a romancer in the true and 



not the ironic sense of the word in all 
of them. He has not been approached 
in merit by any romancer who has pub- 
lished books in our days, except Charles 
Kingsley ; and his work, if less varied 
in range and charm than Kingsley's, has 
a much stronger and more concentrated 
flavour. Moreover, he is the one Eng- 
lish writer of our time, and perhaps 
of times still farther back, who never 
seems to have tried to be anything 
but himself; who went his own way 
all his life long with complete in- 
difference to what the public or the 
publishers liked, as well as to what 
canons of literary form and standards 
of literary perfection seemed to in- 
dicate as best worth aiming at. A 
most self -sufficient person was Bor- 
row, in the good and ancient sense, 
as well as to some extent in the bad 
and modern sense. And what is more, 
he was not only a self-sufficient per- 
son, but very sufficient also to the 
tastes of all those who love good 
English and good literature. 

GEORGE SAINTSBURY 



184 



THE POETIC IMAGINATION. 

" Forms more real than living man, 
Nurslings of immortality." 

SHELLEY. 



PHYSIOLOGISTS would, I suppose, tell 
us that imagination is a reflex action 
of the brain, a definition more concise 
than helpful. It is to the psycho- 
logists that we shall more naturally 
look for assistance on this subject. 
According to the most recent English 
work on the subject, Mr. Sully 's 
1 Outlines of Psychology/ imagination 
is the picturing of objects and events 
in what are called images. If, he says, 
the images are exact copies of past im- 
pressions, the process is called repro- 
ductive imagination, or memory. If, 
on the other hand, the images are 
modifications or transformations of 
past impressions, the process is marked 
off as productive or constructive im- 
agination. This latter process, Mr. 
Sully points out, answers roughly to 
the popular term imagination. But, 
as he says, this kind of imagination 
not only transforms or idealises past 
impressions, it also works them up 
into new imaginative products. 
Further, he might have added, ima- 
gination is interpretative ; it interprets 
the facts of the world of sense, or, in 
Wordsworth's phrase, it explains "the 
moral property and scope of things." 

If, then, we take into account these 
three functions of the imagination, 
shall we not pronounce that there is 
after all more similarity than dis- 
similarity between the memory and 
the imagination ? Shall we not say 
that memory is concerned with what 
is old, imagination with what is new ; 
that memory is reproductive, imagina- 
tion productive ; that memory is imi- 
tative, imagination original ? Allow- 
ing then for the obvious metaphor in 
the use of the word seeing, may we 



not accept James Hinton's definition 
of imagination as "the power of see- 
ing the unseen " ? 

It should here be noticed that for- 
merly the word fancy was used to de- 
note what we now term imagination. 
Thus Milton speaks of Shakespeare as 
"fancy's child." It was Coleridge 
who first distinguished between fancy 
and imagination, and, though the dis- 
tinction is not considered of any ac- 
count by modern psychologists, it is, I 
believe, a real one. Coleridge defined 
fancy as "a mode of memory emanci- 
pated from the order of time and 
space ; and blended with and modi- 
fied by that empirical phenomenon of 
the will, which we express by the word 
choice;" and he pointed out that 
" equally with the ordinary memory it 
must receive all its materials ready- 
made from the law of association." The 
term imagination he reserved for the 
creative faculty, but unfortunately the 
full and complete account of its powers 
which he intended one day to write, 
remained one of the many projects 
which he never put into execution. In 
the few but pregnant hints, however, 
which he has left us on the subject, he 
especially insists on the unity of the 
imagination, coining for it the epithet 
esemplastic (ets ev TrXarretv, i.e. to 
shape into one) and saying that it sees 
il piu in uno. The same idea is care- 
fully worked out by Mr. Kuskin in his 
account of the imagination in * Modern 
Painters,' where he points out with 
great appositeness of illustration the 
difference between mere composition, 
or patchwork, and true imaginative 
production. Indeed, one of the strongest 
arguments in favour of what may be 



The Poetic Imagination. 



185 



called the transcendental theory of the 
imagination is the immeasurable dis- 
tance that separates the patchwork of 
an inferior artist from the seamless 
garment woven by a master's hand. 
So immeasurable is it that it is im- 
possible to accept the explanation that 
the secret of true imaginative work 
consists merely in modifying and 
piecing together past impressions 
so rapidly and so deftly that we can- 
not detect the join. 

"All imaginative activity," truly 
says Mr. Sully, " involves an element of 
feeling." Love, pity, horror, joy, indig- 
nation, all serve to kindle the imagina- 
tion. But the emotions which beat in 
closest unison with it are the aesthetic 
emotions, that group of nameless 
and mysterious feelings which are 
generated by the presence of beauty. 
Seeing, then, that the true character- 
istic of the imagination is its creative 
and life-giving power, and that it has 
an intimate relation with the aesthetic 
emotions, it is not surprising that it 
should be especially the art-faculty, 
the faculty which comes into play in 
the production of all works of art. 
The sculptor must be able to model, 
| the painter to draw and to colour, the 
| architect to build, the musician must 
[ be a master of melody and harmony, 
the poet of language and rhythm ; but 
j all alike must have imagination. 

Take, for instance, one of those 
! Dutch pictures, for which Mr. Ruskin 
i has such contempt and George Eliot 
| such sympathy. The exclusive wor- 
shipper of high art condemns it at 
! once as wholly devoid of imagination. 
But let us try the picture by a simple 
: test. Let us set ten painters down to 
paint a study from the life of an old 
woman scraping carrots. What will 
be the result ? For certain, no two of 
their pictures will be exactly alike. 
' Each painter will have added some- 
I thing new, something which to the 
eye of the ordinary observer did not 
appear in the actual scene ; and this 
i addition, this idealisation, as we should 
\ call it, will have come from the 
painter's imagination. 



We speak of imagination as the 
idealising faculty ; but it is a mistake 
to suppose that to idealise necessarily 
means to make beautiful. Idealisation 
consists rather in throwing into relief 
the characteristic parts of an object, 
and discarding unimportant details ; 
in short, in presenting an idea of the 
object to the mind which, by virtue of 
this rearrangement makes a deeper 
and more lasting impression ; and for 
this reason, that artistic truth has 
been substituted for scientific truth, 
life for death. 

Not only is imagination necessary 
for the production of a work of art, 
but it is also necessary for the under- 
standing of it. The conception which 
is born of imagination can only be 
apprehended by imagination. Hegel 
indeed makes a distinction between 
the active or productive imagination 
of the artist, and the passive or re- 
ceptive imagination of the beholder 
of a work of art, and calls them by 
different names; but in reality the 
difference between them is one of 
degree and not one of kind. The 
impression which is made upon the 
beholder of a work of art, though 
doubtless far less intense, is no doubt 
similar in kind to that which the 
artist himself had when he conceived 
it. 

It must be admitted that the law 
that imagination is necessary to the 
production of a work of art does not 
apply so strictly to poetry as to the 
other fine arts, and for this reason, 
that poetry stands on a somewhat 
different footing from other arts. It is, 
so to speak, less strictly an art. In 
the first place, not only, as is the case 
with other time arts, such as music, 
is the impression which it makes upon 
the imagination spread over a period 
of time instead of being almost 
instantaneous, as it is in a space 
art like painting, but it is not al- 
ways even continuous. When Edgar 
Poe declared that a poem which could 
not be read through at a single sitting 
was an anomaly, thus excluding the 
' Iliad ' and other epics from the cate- 



186 



The Poetic Imagination. 



gory of poetry, he was only following 
out to its logical conclusion, his 
theory that poetry, like music, is a 
pure art. But the common-sense of 
many generations, which is a higher 
court than any theory, has ruled him 
to be wrong. The explanation is that 
poetry is not a pure art. 

Secondly, there is this vital distinc- 
tion between poetry and the other fine 
arts. They are addressed immedi- 
ately to the senses, and through the 
senses to the emotions and the imagi- 
nation; but poetry, though it is in 
some measure addressed to the ear 
and so far partakes of the nature of 
music, is chiefly and primarily ad- 
dressed to the intellect for language 
implies intellect to understand it 
and through the intellect to the 
emotions and the imagination. 

There follow from these special 
characteristics of poetry two notable 
results. First, the impression made 
upon the imagination by a poem being 
often spread over a considerable space 
of time, which may not even be con- 
tinuous, we can dispense with imagi- 
native treatment in some parts of a 
poem, and we do not necessarily 
condemn a whole poem because it con- 
tains some unimaginative passages. 
Secondly, poetry not being addressed 
primarily to the senses, there is a 
marked difference between the func- 
tion of the imagination in poetry and 
its function in a sensuous art like 
painting. In both arts alike it is the 
function of the imagination to repre- 
sent both the visible and the invisible 
world, both the sensuous object and 
the inward spiritual meaning of that 
object; but in painting the sensuous 
object is directly presented, while the 
spiritual idea can only be suggested ; 
in poetry, on the other hand, it is the 
object itself which can only be sug- 
gested, it is the spiritual idea which 
receives direct presentment. 

It is most important that poets and 
painters should bear in mind this 
distinction. To paint pictures vague 
in outline and blurred in colour under 
the impression that they thus become 



spiritual, is as foolish as to write 
poems full of detailed and matter-of- 
fact descriptions of material objects in 
order to make them sensuous. It is 
quite true that painting should be 
spiritual, it is equally true that 
poetry should be sensuous; but this 
must be effected by the method proper 
to each art, not by confusing their 
two methods. 

It will be remembered that in those 
noble chapters of ' Modern Painters ' 
in which Mr. Ruskin treats of the 
imagination he classifies its powers 
under three heads, Associative, Pene- 
trative, and Contemplative. By As- 
sociative imagination he means the 
power of constructing images, or, as 
Coleridge calls it, the shaping power 
of the imagination. Contemplative 
imagination is, as I shall try to show 
presently, merely a form of this, which 
I prefer to call by the more ordinary 
term Constructive. On the other hand, 
a faculty of the imagination which 
Mr. Ruskin has omitted in this classi- 
fication is the idealising faculty. I 
would therefore propose to substitute 
for Mr. Ruskin's-* terminology the 
terms Constructive, Idealising, and 
Penetrative, as expressing the various 
powers of the imagination. 

Let us consider now what is the 
part played by the imagination in the 
genesis of a poem. First, it is to the 
imagination that the first conception 
of every true poem is due. Some ex- 
ternal object, either animate or in- 
animate, either a face or a landscape, 
sends a rush of emotion to the poet's 
soul and kindles his imagination. 
What Turgenieff says of himself is 
probably true of most great poets and 
novelists, that they never start from 
the idea but always from the object. 
The imagination being thus called into 
life exercises its powers by an instan- 
taneous and involuntary process. It 
transports the poet from the world of 
sense to the spiritual world beyond ; 
it reveals to him as in a vision the 
inward meaning of the sensuous fact 
which has aroused his emotions, while 
in one and the same moment the 



I 



The Poetic Imagination. 



187 



vision is embodied in the form of a 
poem, the general idea of which, 
along with the rhythmical move- 
ment, flashes upon the poet instan- 
taneously. Then follows the " accom- 
plishment of verse," the filling up the 
details of the poet's design, in order to 
communicate his vision to those denser 
intelligences which lack the " divine 
faculty." With the true poet, to borrow 
the words used by Monro of Catullus, 
" there is no putting together of pieces 
of mosaic ; with him the completed 
thought follows at once upon the 
emotion, and the consummate form 
and expression rush to embody this 
thought for ever." 

Of course it is only short poems that 
require, as it were, but a single 
draught of inspiration from the 
imagination for their production. In 
longer poems the poet must be con- 
stantly calling upon his imagina- 
tion for fresh efforts. But he must 
call upon it as a master, and he must 
never lose sight of the original im- 
pulse which gave birth to his work, of 
the guiding idea which ought to be 
the central point of his poem. The 
reason why so many poets who excel 
in short poems fail when they try a 
longer flight is that they have not suffi- 
cient power of mental concentration to 
keep their imagination steadily fixed on 
one point. They follow it instead of 
guiding it, and it sometimes leads them 
into grievous quagmires. The imagina- 
tion is partly an active and partly a 
passive faculty. Visions often come 
to us without any effort of our own ; 
it is only the supreme artist, the 
really great man, who can control his 
visions. 

The intensity and the quality of 
the imagination in a poem will vary 
accoi'ding to the nature of the poet's 
genius and the special mood en- 
gendered in him by the motive of the 
poem the character of the imagina- 
tion will determine that of the poem. 
Thus, if the imagination be directed 
chiefly towards the human passions 
and the infinite variations of them 
which make up individual human 



character, the result will be a drama, 
or at least a dramatic poem. If on 
the other hand it is rather on the 
actions than on the passions of men, 
rather on human nature in its broad 
outlines than on the characteristics 
which mark off one human being from 
another, that the imagination loves to 
dwell, we shall have a narrative, pos- 
sibly an epic, poem. If the imagina- 
tion is strongly emotional the result 
will be a lyric ; if it suggest a train of 
thought rather than of images it will 
produce an elegy. 

Even from the two kinds of poetry 
which are rightly accounted the lowest, 
inasmuch as their aims are only in a 
small measure artistic, namely satire 
and didactic poetry, imagination is by 
no means absent. There is imagina- 
tion in the descriptions of persons, and 
in the pictures of social life which 
satire, not wholly unmindful of her 
early Italian home, sets up as a mark 
for her arrows ; there is imagination 
in the images and metaphors, and in 
the concentrated and pregnant lan- 
guage by which a didactic poem like 
* The Essay on Man ' seeks to render 
its reasoning more pointed and im- 
pressive. 

The images evoked by the Construc- 
tive imagination are of two kinds. 
They are either complex images re- 
presenting some new combination of 
actually existing objects, or they are 
simple images of wholly new objects, 
of objects which have no existence in 
the world of sense. The former class 
of images only require a somewhat 
low degree of imagination for their 
production, and ordinary persons, who 
are neither novelists nor poets, have 
frequent experiences of them. They 
supply what are called the scenes or 
situations of fiction, in which some 
new and ideal combination either of 
man or nature, or of both together, is 
presented, and which form the frame- 
work for all narrative and dramatic 
poetry, as well as for all novels. 

The most obvious instance of the 
second class of images are what are 
called imaginary creatures, such as 



188 



The Poetic Imagination. 



Milton's Satan, Ariosto's Hippogriff, 
Dante's Nimrod, Shakespeare's Ariel. 
But what are we to say of those far 
higher creations, the human beings 
who live only in the world of fiction ? 
Are they due to the Constructive 
power of the imagination, or to its 
Idealising power, or to its Penetrative 
power 1 

It may at once be granted that all 
fictitious characters which are drawn 
from existing persons must be ascribed 
to the Idealising imagination. But 1 
believe that the majority of characters 
in fiction, and certainly all the 
greatest characters, are purely ideal 
representations and not portraits. 
Although some living person may have 
first suggested them, they are evolved 
by the imagination without any further 
reference to that person. A great 
many characters for instance in Al- 
phonse Daudet's novels are said to be 
portraits : but they have been claimed 
as such by reason, not of any essential 
property of likeness, but of certain 
details of position and circumstances. 
Whether Numa Roumestan stands for 
Gambetta, or the Due de Mora for the 
Due de Moray or not, there can be no 
doubt that both Numa and Mora are 
absolutely new creations. 

If then the characters of fiction are 
creations and not representations, they 
must, as far as regards the first con- 
ception of them, be ascribed to the 
constructive power of the imagination. 
But their evolution is surely due to its 
penetrative power. To evolve a great 
character of fiction requires a deep 
knowledge of the human heart, and 
so much of that knowledge as proceeds 
from intuition and not from actual 
experience can only come from the 
imagination as a penetrative faculty. 
It is Penetrative imagination that 
inspires the dramatist with those 
touches that reveal a whole world of 
passion at a flash ; such touches as 
those cited by Mr. Ruskin, the " He 
has no children " of Macduff ; the " My 
gracious silence hail ! " of Coriolanus ; 
the " Quel giorno piu non vi leggemeno 
avanti " of Francesca, or that wonder- 



ful passage in * Lear,' wonderful in 
its simplicity 

" Pray, do not mock me : 
I am a very foolish fond old man, 
Fourscore and upward ; and, to deal 

plainly, 
I fear I am not in my perfect mind." 

This intensity and energy of concen- 
tration are unfailing signs of Penetra- 
tive imagination, the imagination which 
pierces right to the heart of things, 
seizes hold of their most characteristic 
and life-giving quality, and reveals it in 
language as simple as it is pregnant. 

What a picture of perfect beauty 
we have in these lines from * Chris- 
tabel ' 

" Her gentle limbs she did undress 
And lay down in her loveliness." 

What intense imagination in the 
following from Keats 

"Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes 
He stared at the Pacific and all his men 
Looked at each other with a wild surmise 
Silent, upon a peak in Darien." 

Or in this from Wordsworth's ' Yei 
trees ' : 

" Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and looks 
That threaten the profane. " 

Or as an instance of a somewl 
more elaborate, but still intensely 
imaginative, description we have 
Shelley's 

" And in its depth there is a mighty rock, 
Which has, from unimaginable years, 
Sustained itself with terror and with toil 
Over a gulf, and with the agony 
With which it clings seems slowly coming 

down ; 

Even as a wretched soul, hour after hour, 
Clings to the ways of life ; yet clinging leans, 
And, leaning, makes more dark the dread 

abyss 

In which it fears to fall. Beneath this crag, 
Huge as despair, &c." 

Or Milton's description of Satan, the 
sublimest portrait ever painted in 
words 

" He, above the rest 
In shape and gesture proudly eminent, 
Stood like a tower ; his form had yet not 
lost 






The Poetic Imagination. 



189 



All her original brightness ; nor appeared 
Less than archangel ruined, and the excess 
Of glory obscured : as when the sun, new 

risen, 

Looks through the horizontal misty air 
Shorn of his beams. 

Darkened so, yet shone 
Above them all the archangel ; but his face 
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched ; and 

care 

Sat on his faded cheek ; but under brows 
Of dauntless courage, and considerable pride, 
Waiting revenge." 

There are some lyrics which exhibit 
in the highest degree this penetrative 
faculty of the imagination, concen- 
trating themselves on some object 
of nature, and revealing in one lumi- 
nous flash of song the secret of its 
spiritual life. Such are Wordsworth's 
' Daffodils ', To the Cuckoo ', and ' To 
a Skylark ' ; Herrick's ' To Blossoms ' ; 
Goethe's ' Auf alien Gipfeln'. But 
on the whole this intensity of imagi- 
nation is to be found more often in 
sonnets than in those poems to which 
the name of lyric is generally re- 
stricted. The very form of the 
sonnet, its forced concentration, its 
division into two parts, its sober but 
stately rhythm, makes it an admirable 
instrument for the purpose of calling 
up before the mind the twin image of 
a sensuous object and a spiritual idea. 
Wordsworth's sonnets especially are 
characterised by this high imaginative 
power, and of his sonnets there is no 
finer example than the well-known one 
' Upon Westminster Bridge.' 

" Earth has not anything to show more fair : 
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its majesty : 
This city now doth like a garment wear 
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare, 
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples 

lie 

Open unto the fields and to the sky, 
All bright and glittering in the smokeless 

air. 

Never did sun more beautifully steep 
In his gilt splendour valley, rock, or hill ; 
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep ! 
The river glideth at his own sweet will : 
Dear God ! the very houses seem asleep ; 
And all that mighty heart is lying still ! " 

In the great majority of lyrical 
poems which deal with some external 



object, and not with the poet's own 
passion, the poet plays round his 
subject rather than penetrates it, con- 
templates it rather than interprets it. 
Thus, sometimes his imagination, in- 
stead of remaining concentrated on 
the object which has inspired the 
poem, flies off to fresh images, and so 
becomes creative instead of penetra- 
tive. This is what Mr. Ruskin means 
when he speaks of the imagination in 
its contemplative mood. We have a 
good instance of it in those beautiful 
lines from Keats's 'The Eve of St. 
Agnes,' where the soul of the sleeping 
maiden is said to be 

" Clasped like a missal, where swart Paynims 

pray ; 

Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain, 
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud 
again." 

Here the 
soul as 



poet, after describing the 



" Blissfully havened both from joy and pain," 

a touch of really penetrative imagi- 
nation is, as it were, distracted by 
fresh images ; first, that of a missal 
clasped tight for safety in a land of 
pagans, and then that of a rose-bud. 

Sometimes the imagination gives 
place for a time to fancy, and then, 
instead of images which have an es- 
sential likeness to the object which is 
being described, we get images which 
have only some external and acci- 
dental likeness. There is no better 
example of the difference between 
fancy and imagination than that in- 
stanced by Mr. Ruskin, Wordsworth's 
poem, * To the Daisy ' the one begin- 
ning, " With little here to do or see." 
Here the flower is compared succes- 
sively to a " nun demure," a " sprightly 
maiden," a " queen in crown of rubies 
drest," a " starveling in a scanty vest," 
a " little cyclops," a " silver shield 
with boss of gold," and a " star " ; and 
the poet himself notes the ephemeral 
character of these images, which start 
up one after the other at the bidding 
of fancy 

" That thought comes next and instantly 
The freak is over." 



190 



The Poetic Imagination. 



At last his mind ceases from wan- 
dering, cleaves to the flower itself with 
intensity of gaze, and illumines it with 
true penetrative imagination. 

" Sweet flower ! for by that name at last 
When all my reveries are past 
I call thee, and to that cleave fast, 

Sweet silent creature ! 
That breath'st with me in sun and air, 
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair 
My heart with gladness, and a share 

Of thy meek nature ! " 

Defective imagination in lyrical 
poems is also due to the poet's vision 
being dimmed by the shadow of his 
own personal joys and sorrows. In- 
stead of projecting himself by the 
force of sympathy into the external 
world, whether of man or nature, he 
makes it sympathise with him. Con- 
sequently, though he gives us a faithful 
representation of his own feelings, the 
image that he presents of the external 
world is blurred and misty. It is the 
great weakness of Byron, as an imagi- 
native poet, that his personal aspi- 
rations and regrets are continually 
passing across the field of his vision, 
and, as it were, distorting his imagi- 
nation. Thus, even in the splendid 
description of the Lake of Geneva in 
the third canto of ' Child e Harold/ 
passages of a really high order of 
imagination are interrupted by egoistic 
and commonplace outbursts, which go 
far to spoil that illusion which it is 
the business of all poetry to create. 
The same kind of defective imagination 
is shown in Byron's often-noticed inca- 
pacity to create real human beings, 
his attempts at creation being for the 
most part merely copies of himself. 

Shelley, who with a love even greater 
than that of Byron for the elemental 
forces of nature had an ear for her 
more hidden harmonies which was 
wholly wanting to the other poet, 
shows a finer quality of imagination 
in his treatment of nature. But in- 
tensely penetrative though his imagi- 
nation sometimes is, it is on the whole 
less remarkable for intensity than for 
sensibility and productiveness. No 
poet's emotions were more easily 



aroused, and no poet's imagination 
was in such intimate sympathy with 
his emotions. In the presence of 
nature to see with him was to feel, 
and to feel was to imagine. But his 
poetry for the most'part rather charms 
us by the marvellous delicacy and 
variety of its images than seizes hold 
of us by the force of its imaginative 
truth. It is not often that he attains to 
that luminous and concentrated depth 
of imagination which distinguishes 
1 The Cenci ', and 'Adonais '. His poem 
' To a Skylark ' is probably far better 
known than Wordsworth's poem on 
the same subject ; l in splendour of 
colour and movement it far surpasses 
its modest grey-toned companion ; but 
I question whether out of all its wealth 
of beautiful and subtle images there 
is one that shows such high imagina- 
tive power, such intense penetration, 
as the line which forms the climax of 
Wordsworth's poem 

" True to the kindred points of Heaven and 
Home." 

It is, of course, not enough for a 
poet to have a powerful imagination ; 
he must be able to embody his visions. 
" Poetry is not imagination, but imagi- 
nation shaped." 2 The instruments at 
his command are two, language and 
rhythm, and it is his business to use 
these in such a way as to assist as 
much as possible the imagination of 
his readers in realising his conceptions. 
In the first place then, his vocabulary 
should be as large as possible ; the 
better the instrument, the easier it is 
to play on. But he must also know 
how to play on it : he must know how 
to vary his method with his theme : 
he must remember that when he is 
portraying great passion his language 
cannot be too simple the death of 
Desdemona, the closing lines of ' The 

1 I mean the one beginning 

" Ethereal minstrel ! pilgrim of the sky ! 

2 F. W. Robertson, in his lecture on the 
' Influence of Poetry on the Working Classes,' 
which, with his lecture on Wordsworth, I 
warmly commend to all those who are not 
already acquainted with them. 



The Poetic Imagination. 



191 



Cenci,' Heine's and Catullus' lyrics, 
are models in their bare simplicity of 
language. He must also remember 
that when he wishes to call up before 
the mind of his readers some sensuous 
object, he must do this not by an 
accurate and detailed description of 
that object, but by using some word 
or expression which, by the force of 
association, immediately suggests an 
imaginative impression of that object. 
It has been truly said that the poet is 
a namer ; that all language was in its 
origin poetry, and that prose is fos- 
silised poetry. By which it is meant 
that, in the early stages of human 
society, things were named after their 
chief characteristic were called by 
some symbolical name which not only 
served to mark them off from other 
things, but interpreted their proper- 
ties and meaning. Thus, man is the 
thinker, the moon is the measurer, the 
sun is the begetter, the serpent is the 
creeper. 1 But in the process of time 
the meaning of these names has been 
forgotten ; they no longer appeal to 
the imagination, they are fossil 
names. It is therefore the business 
of the poet to invent new names 
names which do appeal to the imagi- 
nation, which do reveal to us some 
new quality in the object named. The 
difference between false poets and 
true poets is that the false poet goes 
for his names to the poetical dictionary, 
the true poet finds them in his own 
breast. The names of the one, though 
they were living in the hands of their 
makers, are cold and dead ; the names 
of the other breathe with a vital 
energy. It is only the real poet, the 
real maker of names, who can touch 
our imagination. 

The second instrument which the 
poet has at his disposal is rhythm. 
Its effects are far more subtle than 
those of language, and consequently 
far more difficult to analyse. But the 
intimate connection between rhythm 
and emotion has been pointed out by 
several writers, notably^by Mr. Herbert 

1 Professor Max Muller, ' Lectures on the 
Science of Language,' i. p. 434. 



Spencer. Not only does strong emo- 
tion find a natural expression in the 
rhythmical movement or language, 
but conversely the effect of rhythm is 
to excite emotion. It may therefore 
be reasonably inferred that the func- 
tion of rhythm in poetry is to pre- 
dispose the mind of the reader to 
emotional impulses, and thus make 
it more sensible to the influence of 
imagination. Rhyme, of course, is 
merely a method of measuring rhythm, 
but it also serves to keep the reader's 
mind concentrated, to produce that 
feeling of expectancy which is so 
effective in stimulating the imagina- 
tion. The same purpose is served by 
the various forms of repetition used in 
poetry, from alliteration or the repeti- 
tion of consonantal and vowel sounds, 
to the refrain or the repetition of a 
whole sentence. 

The art of using all these rhythmical 
effects so as to heighten the imagina- 
tive impression of a poem, to vary 
them "in correspondence with some 
transition in the nature of the imagery 
or passion, "as Coleridge says, is one of 
the poet's most incommunicable secrets, 
and I for one shall not try to surprise 
it. I will only point to that supreme 
example of rhythmical effort in our 
language, Coleridge's ' Christabel.' 
How weird is the rhythm of these 
two lines ! 

"Is the night chilly and dark ? 
The night is chilly, but not dark." 

And how the effect of weirdness is 
sustained by the repetition at inter- 
vals of " The night is chill " ! and how 
the rhythm dances in the following ! 

"The one red leaf, the last of its clan, 
That dances as often as dance it can." 

Such are the methods which the 
poet uses to bewitch our imagination, 
to draw us with him into that region 
of truth and beauty and love that lies 
beyond the senses' ken. But we must 
meet him half-way. Our imagination 
must not be utterly dead, or his most 
potent efforts will fail to elicit a 
response. People are gifted with 



192 



The Poetic Imagination. 



imagination in a very various degree, 
but every one can cultivate his imagi- 
nation, can make it more sensible to 
the calls of beauty and sympathy. 
People whose lives are shut in by 
sordid and commonplace surroundings 
have very little imagination. But the 
spark is there, it only wants fanning. 
By seeing great pictures, by reading 
good literature, whether it be poems 
or novels, above all by intercourse 
with nature, the imagination may 
certainly be stimulated. What is the 
aim of art for the people, and parks 
for the people, but that they may 
become more sensible to the influences 



of the spiritual world, that their lives 
may be made brighter by contact with 
the ideal 1 But it is in the power of 
all of us, the educated and the un- 
educated alike, either to quicken or to 
deaden our imagination. Sympathy 
with our fellow- men, high aspirations, 
purity, unworldliness, these are the 
helps to the imagination. Selfishness, 
unbelief, sensuality, worldliness, these 
are the hindrances ; these are the 
chains which bind us to the earth, 
these are the clouds which hide from 
us the light of heaven. 

ARTHUR TILLEY. 



11)3 



THE KING'S DAUGHTER IN DANGER. 



"THE king's daughter is all glorious 
within : her clothing is of wrought 
gold." Ah! but there are many 
new men-milliners at work, tricking 
out a new and a rival princess, 
whose clothing is stitched by Radical 
hands, and whose virgin charms are 
heightened by the cosmetics of the 
Political Dissenter and the Atheist 
names, let us here say, used as acknow- 
ledged parts of our daily speech, and 
not in any term of reproach. This 
figure is plain for all folk to see 
across the Channel. Oar vivacious 
neighbours, with their facile fingers 
and more subtle appreciation of effect, 
have brought their gold earrings and 
precious things, and besought their 
high priests, "Make us a god to go 
before us." Perhaps a few of the 
more hesitating may tremble slightly 
at the prospect of the expression on 
the face of Moses when he descends j 
but, after all, the expression will soon 
wear off, and since Caesar's day the 
Gauls have ever delighted in new 
things. We ourselves have this in- 
estimable advantage, that we can 
largely study the picture whence our 
future model is to be drawn. Of 
course, with our insular belief in our- 
selves and our sagacity, we shall im- 
prove on the original, and allowance 
must be made for differences of touch 
in certain particulars ; but we can 
judge pretty accurately the general 
effect, atmosphere, and surroundings 
of our future Paradise. 

It might have seemed, even to a 

fairly observant eye, that twenty years 

ago the possibility of liberty and 

| equality in religion fraternity we 

I may leave out of the question was a 

I very slight one in this future Paradise. 

j Then, it was but the little cloud no 

! bigger than a man's hand ; and lo, now, 

I there is sound of abundance of rain, 

No. 315 VOL. LIU. 



even hail which will run along the 
ground very vehemently. Party fac- 
tion is a decimal that recurs despe- 
rately ; and there never was a mustard 
seed that was half so prolific as the 
letting out of the (so-called) religious 
waters. 

It might be interesting, though per- 
haps not very remunerative, to know 
how many of those, especially in 
Parliament, who are prepared to say 
at once, " I vote for Disestablishment," 
have taken the trouble to study the 
whole question, and to ascertain from 
men, statistics, and books, the manifold 
intricacies of the case from all its 
aspects. Nowadays, professions of 
faith are required from candidates 
who, in haste that is almost indecent, 
pledge themselves to lines of action 
concerning matters of which they 
know absolutely nothing. Nothing is 
easier than to assent this evening and 
to dissent to-morrow, at greater leisure 
and in a cooler moment ; but it takes 
courage and honesty of purpose, not 
always found in political life, to 
publish a more sober retractation of 
statements and assents made on the 
spur of the moment. No man likes to 
appear to have been ignorant, and to 
have committed himself in ignorance. 
Yet numbers do so. The desire to 
write M.P. after their names is with 
some men an ample, though inexplica- 
ble, reason for swallowing all and 
not least, ecclesiastical camels and 
gnats wholesale. 

It is undoubtedly an argument, and 
no mean one, in favour of the Estab- 
lished Church, that it already exists. 
The plaintiff, to prove his case satis- 
factorily, must show conclusively that 
the fact of an Established Church is a 
real tangible evil ; a thing monstrous 
and contrary to true liberty ; an 
anomaly which is no longer tolerable ; 



194 



The King's Daughter in Danger. 



and further, that it is of absolute 
necessity to the weal of this country 
that all the interests and associations 
linked intimately with the cause of 
such a Church be plucked up, being all 
nothing as compared with the glorious 
sunshine which will then be let into 
the now decaying roots. And; he 
must go a step further. He must 
be prepared to offer in lieu of that 
which he has uprooted a substitute 
more abiding, more useful, more 
thoroughly and truly national. And 
yet one more point should be clearly 
recognised in this, as in all such ques- 
tions, whether religious, political or 
social ; that, while men may absolutely 
decline to found an institution on such 
lines as those which are inherent in 
the institution in question, they may 
be satisfied that to remodel and repair 
is sufficient. It may be utterly un- 
desirable to set up such an Established 
Church as ours in another country 
putting aside the question of its prac- 
ticability ; but it would be fallacious 
to argue therefore that the Established 
Church in England should cease to 
exist. So far, it is no desire of the 
writer to do more than point out that 
fair play should be extended on both 
sides ; only let it be distinctly remem- 
bered that it is chimerical and danger- 
ous, in orators especially, to hold up 
ideal states where liberty of religion 
is dispensed with free hand and an 
Established Church does not exist, 
unless they have carefully weighed 
the practical issues of such a position, 
and are perfectly convinced that in 
England, after a due and long con- 
sideration of her history, such a sphere 
is necessary, and demanded by the 
majority of the nation. 

For this leads us to the one real 
question of all questions, round which 
all else, however momentous, centres 
Is the Church national ? Is the 
Church fulfilling her functions as the 
national Church? Is she justifying 
her position? Is her work conspicu- 
ously to the front for the nation's 
welfare and true benefit from one end 
of this country to the other 1 



Now, whether or no the Church in 
this large sense is national it is for 
the decriers of such an establishment 
to prove. They impeach, they raise 
axes and hammers, they cry "Down 
with it to the ground." Let us, then, 
examine the nature of the combined 
forces who press forward to the work 
of destruction, and see for ourselves 
how far they, on their side, have a 
just and legitimate claim to be con- 
sidered the national party. This is 
not to shirk in the very least the 
main question at issue Is the Church 
truly national? but only an endea- 
vour to see why forces, at first sight a 
little heterogeneous, push on so vehe- 
mently under one banner and with one 
war cry. 

First, let us clear the ground, so that 
we may see with what common cause 
we are contending ; let us understand 
distinctly what is meant by Establish- 
ment and Disestablishment with En- 
dowment and Disendowment we are 
not at present concerned. It may, 
however, be remarked in passing (a 
fact too often disregarded), that the \ 
popular notion that at some vague j 
period in our history the State did j 
make a general national endowment ij 
of religion, is quite erroneous. The \ 
conversion of England was not, as n 
some will tell you can take place in the i) 
individual soul, a " sudden conversion." j 
By no means. As every student of { 
history knows, there was at that time j 
no one national kingdom. Nor was,) 
there any system nor could such ' 
system have existed whereby a na- j 
tional Church could be endowed. If! 1 
such endowment of the Church existed] 
in any form whatsoever, it was an] 
action which concerned one or other 
small kingdom, but in no way affected 
the whole of England. That one 
Church became more favoured by 
richer endowment than another was 
due to the fact that one king, or one 
earl, favoured one Church more than 
another, and gave his wealth to his 
own particular favourite. 

There never was a time when b), 
some deliberate act on the part 01 






The King's Daughter in Danger. 



195 



king or people the Church was " estab- 
lished." It is a general notion that 
the Church and State are two distinct 
bodies, existing as such from some 
ideal point of time, and that a com- 
pact or bargain can be struck between 
these two. The clergy, such people 
hold, or would hold if they thought 
over the matter seriously, form the 
Church ; the State is the Govern- 
ment, or, as Mr. Green first taught 
the general world, as distinguished 
from those who knew better before, 
the Euglish people. But the Church 
is not composed solely of clergy, 
nor in any proper sense can the 
Church be anything else than the 
nation viewed religiously; a religious 
body, being either of one mind or 
of many minds, yet religious minds. 
The State is emphatically not the 
Government, but the nation at large. 
" The whole thing," says Mr. Freeman, 
" like everything else in this country, 
came of itself. The Church Establish- 
ment has just the same history as the 
House of Commons, or as trial by jury. 
It is the creation of the law ; but it is 
not the creation of any particular law, 
but of the general course of our law, 
written and unwritten." It is vain 
to argue that in our day the Estab- 
lished Church is one and the same 
with the English nation; but it was 
so co -extensive once. There were three 
heads to the one body of the English 
nation the head civil, the head eccle- 
siastical, the head military ; but they 
all had one and the same body. Re- 
garding the nation from a military 
view, the nation was military ; re- 
garded from a religious point of view, 
it was ecclesiastical. 

And once more, on this head, we 
are not by any means at one with 
those who say that the Church is a 
sacred corporation, and, like the 
person of the Roman tribune, in 
violable. We have no sympathy 
with those who sneer at the Church 
as an " Act-of -Parliament " Church ; at 
the same time we hold that the power 
of Parliament is supreme, and that so 
long as the Church is to call itself 



national, so long it must bow to the 
powers that be in this country. " An 
Act of Parliament may be unjust, but 
it cannot be unlawful." All things are 
"lawful," though not necessarily "ex 
pedient," for such a power. If the 
State, after careful deliberation, de- 
cides that the community at large has 
a prior claim to any special corpora- 
tion, then the corporation must give 
way. Unless so much is admitted, so 
long as the Church is established, we 
can hardly argue together further. 
With the belief, natural to the Church, 
that their whole body is linked in an 
immutable chain of apostles, fathers, 
confessors, orders, and so forth up to 
the Founder of Christianity, we have 
here nothing to do. Arguments for 
such a perpetual process and for re- 
cognition of, and obedience to, the 
voice of the Church over the voice of 
Caesar, are wide of the question con- 
sidered in these pages. They do not 
deal with the Church as established ; 
they do not affect the national Church. 
"The authority of the Church," says 
Dr. Pusey, 1 " was given to her by her 
Divine Lord within certain limits : 
' Teach them whatever I command 
you.' " This authority of the Church 
is for a law to herself as a Church, 
but not as an established and national 
Church. " The Church 2 is in matter 
of fact our great divinely-appointed 
guide unto saving truth, under divine 
grace. The Church is practically the 
pillar and ground of the truth, an 
informant given to all people, high 
and low, that they might not have to 
wander up and down and grope in 
darkness, as they do in a state of 
nature." The State in no way denies 
this. It would be impossible for any 
Church to exist which had less con- 
fidence in itself and its origin. But 
the State says that, while the Church 
may believe all this, like Gallio, it 
cares, as a State, " for none of these 

1 'An Eirenicon,' by E. B. Pusey, D.D., 
p, 40. 

2 'British Critic' for October, 1838, quoted 
by Eev. W. G. Ward, ' The Ideal of a Chris- 
tian Church,' p. 9. 

o 2 



The King's Daughter in Danger. 



things." So long as the Established 
Church is the national Church, it is 
liable to be touched and handled by 
the State, if the State judges it ex- 
pedient to do so. 

If this matter be granted, let us 
proceed to look at the peculiar features 
of the various assailants of a national 
Church. 

Broadly divided, they amount to 
three classes (1) the Radical ; (2) the 
Atheist ; (3) the Political Dissenter. 

The Radical must always be care- 
fully distinguished from the Atheist, 
with whom naturally and necessarily 
he has nothing in common. It is a 
stupid, if not an atrocious, blunder to 
mix up men who have only so much 
of unity that they desire to pull down 
the Established Church. People of 
widely discordant views may get into 
the same lobbies ; as we know ; but it 
is only a very undiscriminating mind 
which would therefore associate Mr. 
Gladstone and Mr. Bradlaugh. It is 
injudicious to do so, for such conduct is 
apt to force the Radical into a still more 
bitter antagonism, and may drive him 
to unite with those outside his camp 
on other grave matters, if he is so 
constantly misrepresented. At the 
same time, the Radical may well 
seriously ask himself how it is that 
he is associated with such strange 
bedfellows, and whether he is not 
being hurried forward into actions and 
into decisions without a careful sound- 
ing of the deeps beyond. Liberty is 
his god : liberty is the phylactery 
which is writ large on every article 
of his political and religious attire ; 
in Liberty's cause, and to woo her 
smile, he, a zealous votary, ofttimes 
cuts himself with knives and lancets 
and yet, who is the gainer ? His argu- 
ment, putting aside the many minor 
ones, which are again divided and sub- 
divided, is extremely intelligible. The 
Church no longer coincides with the 
nation the malicious might add, no 
more does the army and is only 
one of a number of religious bodies. 
Other religious bodies enjoy few or no 
privileges ; why should the Church, 



then, enjoy so many ? But further, the 
Radical will assert that the Church 
blocks true liberty, that it has always 
done so in the past, and that it is the 
flunkey of wealth and titles. 

" The Church of England," says the 
most able leader of the -Radical party, 
" is the ally of tyranny, the organ of 
social oppression, the champion of in- 
tellectual bondage." And Mr. Goldwin 
Smith writes in a similar vein : " For 
ages, Christianity has been accepted by 
the clergy of the Established Church 
as the ally of political and social 
injustice." 

How much happier it might have 
been for this world, if not for the 
next, if the word " liberty " had never 
been written. And yet perhaps, for 
this is not so certain as some think 
to paraphrase Voltaire, " If there had 
been no liberty, it would have been 
necessary to invent one." We shall 
have plenty of employment, more than 
plenty, if we stare "liberty" in the 
face for a few moments. There are 
certain men of great talents, im- 
mense beneficence, and a large method 
of looking round about systems and 
institutions, who yet appear either 
to grow colour-blind, or to require 
blue spectacles, when they look at 
certain positions ! Take Mr. John 
Bright, for instance. A man of 
extraordinary oratorical talents, and 
hitherto of wonderful touch with the 
English character, he drops his 
" liberal " principles in a moment 
when he casts his eye on the English 
Church. Mr. Chamberlain has more 
excuse. But Mr. Chamberlain, when 
he poses as a champion of liberty, and 
wins cheap applause by denouncing an 
Established Church as an anomaly 
and an ogre who eats up the crusts of 
the poor, is really talking quite off 
the purpose. He wins cheers and 
he wins votes, but what can he really 
know of the working of, and the work 
of, the English Church ? It is ex- 
tremely easy to glance superficially 
at such an institution, and to bring 
out in bold relief the mistakes and 
errors of particular men, or to ridicule 



The King's Daughter in Danger. 



197 



the system of a Church, the position, 
bearings, and condition of which 
neither speaker nor audience know 
save in a most cursory manner. Any 
third-rate actor can win the applause 
of "the gods;" but "Cato" together 
with "the judicious" must grieve, or 
grow hot with indignation, that such 
fustian should be like to gain the 
day. 

But the Radical of course we mean 
the perfectly sincere Radical, who does 
not play to the " gallery," but has 
large aims, and sincerely great aims 
has the ulterior intention of diverting 
the wealth of the Church when dis- 
endowed to uses more beneficial in his 
eyes. This is, however, to enter upon 
the topic of Disendowment, which we 
have agreed not to discuss. The 
Radical cordially dislikes the Church 
as a powerful engine, the one most 
powerful engine, in the Conservative 
hands. The great mass of the clergy, 
and a very considerable share of the 
Church, belong to the " great stupid 
party; " and an attempt to attack the 
status and funds of the Church would 
unite together those within the pale 
who at present have considerable 
differences of opinion. Love of mother 
Church would in almost all cases 
precede love of political sentiment. 

With regard to the Atheist, little 
need be said as to his attacks. They 
have always been, and must neces- 
sarily be, against all religion ; but he 
has the skill to perceive when to be 
silent, and when to swell the shout 
against a cause which is in some 
quarters unpopular. He would argue 
that in a free country religious bodies 
must all be treated alike, and that he 
cares for none of them, no, nor how 
many there may be of them, provided 
each man is permitted to go his own 
way. Religion in the abstract is 
a most unprofitable study ; national 
religion is an absolute torment, which 
ought to be applied to no man. And 
if a number of men holding such a 
view, unable or unwilling to believe 
that God exists, were to possess seats 
in Parliament and be called upon to 



legislate on matters relating to the 
national Church then indeed we 
should witness a monstrous paradox. 

The Political Dissenter is not let 
the present writer frankly confess for 
himself a very nice person. He never 
says "I am for peace" so much is 
true ; it is likewise certain that when 
he speaks, "they are for war." He 
is always dwelling in the tents of 
Kedar, and he really rather likes his 
quarters. Take away his red rag of a 
national Church, and where is this bull 
of Birmingham Bashan 1 The Reverend 
Mr. Crosskey, and the like of him, are 
the most inveterate and active skir- 
mishers in the ranks of the Church. 
Their skill is positively marvellous ; 
they surprise clerical stragglers now 
and again, and make much of such 
surprises in print and on platform. 
Their attack perhaps lacks refinement ; 
but they hit hard. The air of Bir- 
mingham is good for pugilism it 
runs in the blood. Mr. Dale is a finer 
hitter, and a far superior man of war. 
He is, as Mr. Matthew Arnold ob- 
serves, 1 " really a brilliant pugilist." 

The Wesleyan body, the oldest of 
the Methodist denominations claim- 
ing upwards of a million adherents in 
Great Britain, over and above some 
eight hundred thousand younger mem- 
bers in the Sunday schools by no 
means exercise themselves in a similar 
tone. The closer historical relation 
of Methodism with the Established 
Church may in some degree account 
for this ; yet it would be foolish to 
suppose that by them also Disestablish- 
ment will not be hailed. But in the 
pulpit they are temperate ; to denounce 
the Church is not one and the same 
thing as to attack the devil, the world, 
and the flesh. It is worthy of notice, 
that this year, in the annual Wesleyan 
Conference at Newcastle - on - Tyne, 
Dr. Osborn emphatically declared 
and his words were received with great 
applause that it would prove totally 
destructive to the body if Wesleyan 
ministers were to take sides in political 

1 'Last Essays on Church and Religion,' 
p. 185. 



198 



The Kings Daughter in Danger. 






warfare. And in his address to the 
newly-ordained young ministers, the 
ex-president expressed the popular 
conviction when he said that the 
minister most faithfully fulfilled his 
ordination vows who passed through a 
circuit without letting his people know 
to what political party he belonged. 

But it would be wrong to conclude 
that therefore this body will vote 
unanimously for the Establishment 
to continue. To them, as to all Non- 
conformist bodies, the tithe is an 
injustice. To them, as to all Non- 
conformist bodies, the fact of a 
church in every parish, and a priest 
in every parish, representatives of 
nationality, and necessarily regarded 
as such formally or informally, is 
a thing difficult to stomach. And it 
may further be conceded that the tone 
and language of many Church people, 
and of not a few clergymen, is of such 
an arrogant nature as to widen es- 
trangement, and to prevent that sym- 
pathy which does so much, if it says 
so little. The superior tone, as of a 
chosen priesthood, a peculiar people, 
which some smooth-faced curate will 
often assume towards individuals, or 
bodies of men of piety and ability, 
whose convictions are deep and 
sincere, has done incalculable harm. 
Many clergymen, especially country 
clergymen, whose vision is at times 
limited, speak of a Dissenter as to 
be classed with publicans and sin- 
ners ; and it is to be noticed with 
what far greater fairness and kindli- 
ness the mass of clergy refer to the 
Roman Catholics in their parish. 
There are many exceptions the ex- 
ceptions are probably far more fre- 
quent than before but the mischief 
that is done by such slighting and un- 
charitableness, though, doubtless, not 
known to those who so speak, is 
never forgotten. It is no n^w thing. 
As long ago as the year 1867 we find 
Dean Alford drawing public attention 
to the unfortunate exchange of feel- 
ing : " Nothing," he writes, "is more 
strongly impressed on my mind, when 
I look over the religious state of Eng- 



land, than that we, who are members 
of her Established Church, have need 
to face the whole important question 
of our relations to Nonconformists, 
with a view to a readjustment in the 
light of the Christian conscience of our 
words and our acts respecting them. 
... It seems to me that there is no 
justification for the present alienation 
of affection, the present virtual sus- 
pension of intercourse, the present 
depreciating tone and manner which 
prevail on the part of English Church- 
men towards Dissenters and towards 
Churches which differ from ourselves 
in organisation." Dr. Stoughton, in 
his work on religion in England (1800- 
1850), mentions with strong feeling 
how Nonconformists appreciated the 
courtesy and fellowship of the late 
Dean of Westminster : " No one did 
so much as he to bring together 
persons of different communions ; and 
under the touch of his warm and com- 
prehensive sympathy, prejudice and 
bigotry, at least for a time, melted 
entirely away. Congregations who 
only saw him as with bent head, down- 
cast eyes, and slow and reverent step, 
he walked up the pulpit stair, could 
not picture what he was as he came 
forward at home with rapid move- 
ment, and with smiles irradiating 
his finely-chiselled features, to grasp 
the hands of Nonconformist guests, 
bidding them a welcome which glowed 
with genuine heartiness." And the 
late Archbishop of Canterbury, a 
man wise in his generation and 
full of discreet understanding, in 
a Charge delivered at Maidstone on 
"Union Without," tells his hearers 
not to judge of the Nonconformists by 
the "violent expressions of platform 
orators." " I thought it wise," so he 
says in his Charge, "and gladly wel- 
comed the opportunity to receive in 
my house, which might be considered 
as the very home of the Church of 
England, a large and powerful deputa- 
tion of the chief Nonconformist minis- 
ters in London. . . . Such meetings 
can, I think, be fraught with nothing j 
but real good." 



The King's Daughter in Danger. 



199 



In judging of the grounds of com- 
plaint against the national Church 
made by Radicals and Nonconformists, 
it is of special importance that English 
Churchmen should endeavour to look 
fairly at existing facts, to consider how 
they themselves would feel were con- 
ditions reversed, whether their own 
motives in the desire to maintain the 
Established Church are pure and free 
from alloy. That men of rare abilities, 
genuine sincerity, and strong love of 
liberty and freedom, should be coupled 
with baser tools and instruments, and 
should be thrown into the same ranks 
with men of violently socialistic and 
atheistic views, may be cause for 
regret ; but it is not therefore the 
slightest evidence that the cause advo- 
cated has not right and justice on its 
side. The better may bewail the fact 
that they have as allies the baser, and 
may have respect for their enemies ; 
but none the less will they contend 
ardently for that wherein they believe, 
and believe to be for the greatest 
benefit to the country at large. People 
occupied by strong religious convic- 
tions may wince at unity for the 
moment with people detesting re- 
ligion ; but it is possible that both 
may fight under the same banner 
with the best of conscientious motives. 

Let us now turn from this neces- 
sarily all too brief survey of the chief 
opponents of the national Church, and 
look down the lists of those within the 
beleaguered city to see how they fare. 
It is not always the attack from with- 
out which is the most to be dreaded ; 
a man's foes may be, and often are, 
" those of his own household." 

The camp within the national 
Church may be for greater convenience 
divided into the three well-known 
parties of High, Low, and Broad 
Church. 

The High Church man in doctrine 
may not in all cases correspond to 
what is called the Ritualist, but in 
several he does. They at least have 
given back to the Church the " beauty 
of holiness." They, like the Radicals, 
have a keen appreciation of liberty, 



but shall we say also like the Radi- 
cals ? they have not a vivid sense of 
humour. Recently, at the adminis- 
tration of the Holy Communion at a 
church in Cornwall, the non-celebrant 
priest was to be seen during the 
greater part of the Communion ser- 
vice grovelling on the floor, so 
that, to the congregation he ap- 
peared like unto a four-footed beast, 
" clothed in white samite, mystic, won- 
derful." It may be said that at such 
a time the attitude of the body matters 
little, that the devout have no thought 
for such things as the posture of this 
or that person. Yet nature will 
return, however so much expelled by 
a proper and becoming fork; and 
surely a congregation following such a 
lead would present a truly appalling 
spectacle. This party the Ritualists 
pay little attention to the injunc- 
tions of such bishops as may run 
counter to their own desires; they 
attach absolutely none to the admoni- 
tions and menaces of civil jurisdic- 
tion. In their congregations you will 
find, taken all through, a very large 
percentage of young people : this is 
natural, because the movement has 
not been of very long growth. You 
will find also < a considerable mass 
of women ; and this also is natural. 
Ever since women gathered round 
the Cross, their sex has strongly 
supported religious causes ; and their 
far greater leisure, and hitherto more 
untutored reasoning powers, have con- 
tributed to make them fill the seats 
of churches. It will be curious to 
see if, under this new and so-called 
higher education of theirs, they will 
continue equally loyal to the call of 
religion. Without expressing a strong 
opinion on any side, it may be safely 
affirmed that if once the mothers of 
England become careless of religion, 
it will be the worst blow for English 
character that could possibly be struck. 
It is a particular misfortune of this 
body, that its members, and especi- 
ally its younger members, in their 
devotional books, in their gestures 
and demeanour in church, in their 



200 



The King's Daughter in Danger. 



whole religious attitude, sail as near 
the Romish tenets and method of 
service as they can. The weaker 
ones, who possess less common sense 
and temperateness, are apt to get 
on to an inclined plane, and hardly 
know where to stop. Their vows of 
ordination are understood with much 
mental reservation and elasticity of 
meaning ; the authority of " The Or- 
dinary " is an excellent expression in 
its way, but not one to be too strongly 
dwelt upon, or kept in inconvenient 
memory. It would be, however, 
extremely unfair to this large and 
important branch of the Church not 
to recognise to the full the im- 
mense vitality of the whole section, 
and the never-tiring work which is 
done by great numbers of Ritualist 
clergy in the dark places of great towns. 
It is always an easy matter for an 
outsider, who has taken no trouble to 
ascertain the meaning of certain for- 
mulas, postures, or demeanours, to 
raise a cheap laugh. It is natural 
that people who live outside a religion, 
and especially if their inclination 
has nothing of sympathy with it, 
should fail wholly to appreciate its 
symbols. The mind which struggles 
to be calmly philosophical insensibly 
imbibes prejudices, itself blind to its 
own partiality. " Philosophers," says 
M. Renouf truly, " who may pride 
themselves on their freedom from 
prejudice, may yet fail to understand 
whole classes of psychological pheno- 
mena which are the result of religious 
practice, and are familiar to those 
alone to whom such practice is 
habitual." To the outside world the 
Egyptian worship of a dog, an ibis, 
or a goat, seemed ludicrous, and even 
monstrous. " The god of the Egyp- 
tians," says Clement of Alexandria, 
" is revealed ; a beast, rolling on a 
purple couch." And yet it may be 
worth while to remember that once 
Christianity itself was held to be 
a "damnable superstition (exitiabilis 
super stitio) ; " and men believed popu- 
larly that its followers worshipped 
the ass, a form of religion derived 



from the Jew. To the outer work 
the worship of the Lamb with seven 
horns and seven eyes, adored by four 
beasts, can hardly have appeared other 
than a " damnable superstition." 

A portion of this branch would 
desire Disestablishment. Rejecting all 
outer authority they would naturally 
wish the Church to be a law to itself. If 
the Church were disestablished accord- 
ing to their wish, it is difficult to say to 
what excesses they might run, or how 
far they could coquet with the blan- 
dishments of Rome without fear of 
breach of promise. It is dangerous 
to play on the verge of precipices ; it 
is especially dangerous when the 
player is young, inexperienced, backed 
up by an excited crowd of fervid 
worshippers, and a little intoxicated 
by the odours of incense and feminine 
flattery. What Pusey could hold and 
do, with apparent impunity, may not 
therefore be carried out and on with 
equal impunity by those who have not 
also imitated Pusey in a careful 
scrutiny of cause and effect. 

Nothing more beautiful can be ima- 
gined than the frame of religious 
spirit which permeates the saintly 
Pusey in all his writing a spirit of 
love, of the deepest and most pure 
religion. But this spirit is temperate 
if firm, understanding if dogmatic. 
This is the innocence of a child 
combined with an unswerving faith. 
" I believe explicitly all which I 
know God to have revealed in His 
Church ; and implicitly (implicite) any 
thing, if He has revealed it, which I 
know not. In simple words, I be- 
lieve all which the Church believes." 
This spirit can hardly be reached; it 
must be born, possibly in some cases 
born again. A spirit so bathed, so 
totally immersed, in thorough com- 
munion with the Church as the sole 
representative of God Himself, is one 
which no outsider can fathom, no 
system of philosophy explain, no 
argument reach. It may be incon- 
sistent with a degree of liberty ; it 
may lack the fresh play of the keen 
outer air so wholesome, so bracing; 



Tke King's Daughter in Danger. 



201 



yet it possesses the supreme peace 
which passes understanding. No ; the 
name of Pusey is revered among the 
Ritualistic branch of the Church, but 
his spirit is too often absent from it. 

The Low Church party have not 
gained ground. They have been 
obliged in many instances to yield to 
the prevailing tendency of the age, 
and to allow greater ornateness of 
service, and more colour in the con- 
duct of their forms of religion. The 
particular views of such men as Dean 
McNeile, Dean Close, and Canon 
Stowell, are not the views put for- 
ward popularly by the modern Low 
Church party, though the older men, 
such as Canon Hoare, would probably 
adhere to them. At the present day 
it can hardly be said that any of the 
great preachers or writers of the Eng- 
lish Church belong to this school. Such 
names as Liddon pre-eminently the 
first teac/ier of the day Magee, Light- 
foot, Church, Woodford, Yaughan, are 
not enrolled in what are called Evan- 
gelical annals. There is, it appears, a 
certain strait-waistcoat of thought 
to be worn by the disciples of this 
school, which cribs and confines over- 
much the men of wider sympathies 
and bigger hearts. Their predeces- 
sors in the country parts were men of 
a different stamp. George Eliot's Mr. 
Irwine is not a Low Church clergy- 
man ; his service was the usual ser- 
vice of his day unadorned, simple, 
homely. He was not what would be 
called " advanced ;" but he was not the 
man who would call the Pope " Anti- 
christ" every Sunday morning from his 
cushioned pulpit. He " dwelt among 
his own people," and was equally 
interested in their baptisms, their 
fields of potatoes, their dairies, and 
their first communions. The modern 
type not rarely lacks this geniality, 
if he has more salvational virtue in 
him. As he is seen at times out for 
a holiday on the sea-shore he does not 
always show to much advantage. But 
we all have our weak points, and out- 
ward appearances have always been 
deceitful. 



The Broad Church party has ad- 
vanced while the Low Church has 
decreased. This is natural. The Low 
Church party has done great good in 
Missions and in putting the Bible into 
people's hands. The savage has more 
often had a Bible put into his hand 
by an Evangelical than by all the 
rest of the Church put together. The 
Broad Church party must swell with 
the increase of free thought. It has 
no exact horizon; a convenient haze 
ever floats over the valleys beyond. 
Maurice, Hare, Kingsley, Robertson, 
Stanley, Pearson where are now the 
shoulders whereon their mantles may 
fitly rest ! 

The movement has enlarged its 
mouth : it now aspires to unite reve- 
lation and science. The error of this 
school is subtle, but yet manifest. People 
who have no especial "views" on reli- 
gion, who pride themselves on being 
"large-minded" and "broad-minded," 
who like to hear some new thing ; men 
who are scientific, and not appreciative 
of dogmatic religion ; people who like to 
appear to go to church but " can't 
stand orthodoxy;" ladies who have 
read a little a very little Strauss, 
and are inclined to think " there is a 
great deal in what he says ; " together 
with the sincere believers in the 
elasticity of religious faith form a 
congregation which requires to be in- 
terested. With some of these pastors 
and spiritual instructors " sacerdotal- 
ism " is the red rag. They exhaust the 
epithets of the English language, they 
bring up all their artillery of sesqui- 
pedalian words, their big guns of sar- 
castic, scornful, denunciatory speech, 
against the exaltation of the man into 
a priest. And when not engaged with 
" sacerdotalism " they are at the throat 
of dogma. Dogma, they assert, is the 
root of all the evil which retards the 
Church of England from being truly 
and really national. Dogma interferes 
with and maims liberty. " Religentem 
esse oportet, religiosum nefas." 1 The 
sentiment of M. Ernest Renan is 
theirs, enlarged and writ plain : " Le 

1 " Piety is a duty, Superstition a crime.' 



202 



The King's Daughter in Danger. 



devoir du savant est d'exprimer avec 
franchise le resultat de ses etudes, sans 
chercher a troubler la conscience des 
personnes qui ne sont pas appelees a 
la meme vie que lui, mais aussi sans 
tenir compte des motifs d'interet et 
des pretendues convenances qui fans- 
sent si souvent 1'expression de la 
verite." l 

It is the cry of reason struggling 
up to the higher air, while faith 
stands staring below. It is so they 
of this school will tell you but the 
repetition of Prometheus bound, im- 
potent, yet potent to hurl defiance at 
the presiding Zeus. The old bottles 
are worn out, the new wine of our 
vintage will be spilt : let us have 
those of new make. Forgetful are 
they that ofttimes when men have 
well drunk they turn with a sigh and 
say, "The old is better." 

Yet this positive abhorrence of dogma 
is to be found in the manifesto of the 
politician, the literature of science, 
and not least in works of fiction. The 
clergyman who abides by dogma is 
nearly always contrasted in ridicule 
with his brother clergyman who pre- 
fers liberty of thought to catechism 
and creed. Says Canon Liddon in his 
university sermons of about twenty 
years ago : " Dogma is assumed, 
rather than stated in terms, to be 
untrue. This assumption is partly 
traceable to a weakened belief in the 
reality of an objective revelation com- 
mitted to the Church of God. . . . The 
hands that direct the onslaught are 
the hands of Esau ; but the voice gives 
utterance to no native type of English 
thought : it is the voice of the philo- 
sophy of Hegel." Whether this phi- 
losophy has done more than tinge the 
religious feelings of a few more 
thoughtful souls is a question foreign 
to our purpose. It is certain that the 

1 " The duty of the man who knows is to 
express with freedom the result of his studies, 
without seeking to trouble the conscience of 
those who are not called to the same life as 
himself ; but also without considering inter- 
ested motives and feigned conveniences which 
so frequently assume the guise of truth." 



anti-dogmatic schools need a strong 
reminder, and an understanding re- 
minder, of the text on which the 
eloquent Canon's sermon is based, 
Where, the spirit of the Lord is, there 
is liberty. 

A lawless liberty, falsely so called, 
which declines to submit except to 
what can be felt, tasted, handled, can 
of course have no sympathy with a 
decided and definite dogma, elastic 
indeed, yet with clearly distinguish- 
able boundaries, submissive to the 
will of God " whose service is perfect 
freedom." Without necessarily going 
so far as to affirm with St. Cyril, 
Meyicrrov TOtVW KTrjfJLa ecrri TO rcov 
Soy//,aT<oi/ fjidOrjjj,a, z or putting the 
" science of dogmas " in the foremost 
place, surely it may be granted that 
dogma is absolutely fundamental to 
any Church which is to have consis- 
tency. Those who falsely try to win 
the popular sentiment to their side by 
stripping teaching of every shred of 
dogma, are anxious enough to set up 
shibboleths of their own, which are to 
the full as definite, only tinged with 
that excess of arrogance which belongs 
to all sects and parties which deviate 
from the main path by .reason of 
supposed superiority. An excellent 
definition of dogma to sum up this 
question is given by the preacher 
above alluded to, and one which the 
extreme latitudinarians might well 
read and digest " Dogma is essential 
Christian truth thrown by authority 
into a form which admits of its per- 
manently passing into the understand- 
ing, and being treasured by the heart 
of the people." 

The attitude of the English people, 
generally considered, is one in the 
main of respect. They pass by, and 
many touch their hats, simply because 
they recognise the " king's daughter." 
We shall not be surprised to find that 
the upper classes aft'ect Church views. 
Royalty sets the fashion : it is the 
Court religion. But with brilliant 
exceptions the upper classes are not 

2 "The study of dogma is in truth the 
most important of all." 



The Kings Daughter in Danger. 



203 



religious. Bazaars, and suchlike 
eccentric charities, do not form the 
basis of religion. There is an enor- 
mous amount of indifference to reli- 
gion in this class, which as a rule eats 
too much if Lady John Manners has 
not belied her kind and drinks quite 
enough, though less than its grand- 
fathers ; nor do the clergy devote so 
much of their energy to changing the 
lives of this class as they do to others. 
There are always brilliant exceptions ; 
so there will be always men like the 
present Bishops of Truro and Lich- 
field, who, as parish priests in fashion- 
able London produced big results. 

No ! Religious feeling is not strong 
in the extremes of society the upper 
and the lower classes. Religion and 
true piety are to be found in the ranks 
of the great middle section. Here 
is to be seen the back-bone of the 
religious feelings and sympathies of 
England. 

But England is becoming more and 
more democratic ; and among the 
democracy Dissent has undoubted 
sway. The Church of England recog- 
nises this fact. The Church of Eng- 
land must go out into the highways 
and hedges and compel them to come 
in. What the Tory Democrat aims at 
doing in the political world, must be 
done by the Church of England in the 
religious world, if it is to be the 
national Church. True, it is an under- 
taking fraught with stupendous diffi- 
culty. The teaching of the Board 
Schools is simply neutral and colour- 
less, if it exists, in matters religious ; 
the Church must in its own way colour 
education. What the boy is, the man 
frequently grows to be. If the upper 
classes are to be a pillar of defence to 
the Church in perilous times, the 
Church must educate, must instruct, 
must be foster-father and foster- 
mother, else the apathy of the upper 
classes, who regard Dissent as not 
very respectable nor very much the 
religion for a gentleman, will be but a 
broken reed when the hurricane falls 
on the Church's devoted head. And 
this applies more strongly in the case 



of the poor. The clergyman, who is 
first gentleman, or first scholar, must 
first be an imitation of his Master, 
" the tribune of the people : " he must 
be above, yet always of, them ; he 
must win their affections, be their 
right hand. The example of Lowder 
is not uncommon : it must be pretty 
universal if the Church is to be the 
Church of the people. The Dissenting 
minister, socially often the inferior of 
the clergy of the Established Church, 
speaks with a popular voice in popular 
tones understood of the people. They 
sit near each other in the chapel, as 
they live near each other in the street. 
They like impassioned language and 
fervid eloquence ; even the Salva- 
tionists' drum does not jar on their 
senses. They understand that Charles 
Wesley effected as much, or more, by 
sweet melody and the hymn, as his 
brother by his oratorical gifts. " Me- 
thodism could never have become what 
it did without its unparalleled hymn- 
book." 

Well, the English clergy, mostly 
of the High Church party, are compre- 
hending this. High Church in form 
and belief, these men are evangelical 
in method. Canons Body, Knox- 
Little, and others, have learnt the 
secret of that enthusiastic chameleon, 
Father Ignatius. Short, stirring mis- 
sionary addresses, frequent hymns, a 
service which appeals to the heart 
first and indirectly to the head these 
are the weapons which will cause the 
Church to be the great power among 
the people. Its freedom, its liberal 
sentiments, its teaching based on the 
Christ of the poor, the carpenter's 
Son, its beautiful language, its very 
essence, must charm the English 
people. The Gospel must knock at 
their doors ; they will not come to hear 
it, sitting side by side with the richer 
folk. This working class has no 
strong prejudices in favour of one 
religious form over another ; but they 
will very soon believe that the Church 
of England is entirely Tory and anti- 
popular. Dissent they will equally 
soon believe to be their champion. 



204 



The Kings Daughter in Danger. 



The Church must display itself as 
the great national organ for the pro- 
motion of goodness. If Dissenters fcilt 
at the Church, let it be understood 
that they are inconsistent, attacking 
that very quality which they ought 
most energetically to defend. Let it 
be seen and no point is more impor- 
tant than this that, while those 
outside the Church are willing to 
combine for party purposes entirely to 
harass, vex, and pull down the bul- 
warks of the Established Church, yet 
inside, with large divergence of 
opinion on lesser matters, there is 
unity ; unity aiming at this one end 
the dissemination of goodness. If 
there is within the Church only a zeal 
for party as would certainly be the 
case were the Church disestablished 
one man crying, " I am of King," 
another " I am of Ryle," then this 



great aim must suffer ; discredit must 
be brought on the Church ; and the 
Church must cease to be national. 

Then there will be great rejoicing, 
even if the moderate Liberals sigh and 
shrug their shoulders those elastic 
shoulders capable of bearing so much ! 
Then also there will be wailing among 
not a few thinking men, who will see 
at last that party has ascended the 
throne in all things supreme ; supreme 
at last in matters religious, as it has 
long been in matters political. 

Then will Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, 
still true to that touch of " senti- 
ment" which adorned his namesake in 
Sheridan's immortal comedy, turn to 
his trusty henchmen and command, 
" Go, bury now this cursed woman ; " 
adding with a pious afterthought, " for 
she is a king's daughter." 



205 



THE 'EUMENIDES' AT CAMBRIDGE. 



AMONG the many innovations which 
the disturbing years have lately brought 
to our Universities, these present- 
ments of the Greek drama are among 
the few one suffers gladly. Innova- 
tions, indeed, they wholly are not, 
but rather a revival of an old and 
honourable custom. Whether the 
halls of Oxford and Cambridge have 
before our day rung to the mea- 
sures of the Attic tragedians I can- 
not say, but am inclined to think 
not. In those times when the drama 
was most liberally cultivated at the 
Universities, that is, in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries, the general 
knowledge of the Greek literature and 
language seems by all accounts to have 
been no great thing. Mr. Bass Mul- 
linger and the Oxford Historical Society 
will no doubt tell us all about that 
some day. But Latin, and at a later 
time English, plays were frequent. The 
performances were strictly confined to 
members of the Universities. Against 
the general stage-play the face of au- 
thority was sternly set; "ludus in- 
honestus" it was contemptuously styled, 
and its professional exponent was by 
no means regarded then as the fine 
flower of intellectual growth. In 1575, 
for instance, the Vice-Chancellor of 
Cambridge was warned by the Privy 
Council " of some attempts of light and 
decayed persons who for filthy lucre 
there are minded and do seek nowadays 
to devise and to set up in open places 
shows of unlawful, hurtful, pernicious, 
and unhonest games near to Cam- 
bridge," whereby the youth of that 
University were like to be " enticed 
from their ordinary places of learning." 
A few years later, in 1587, the Earl 
of Leicester's players were bribed with 
a present of twenty shillings (a sum 
signifying, of course, considerably more 
than it would now) not to act in 
Oxford. 



But among the students themselves 
the drama was liberally encouraged. 
Indeed, the first statutes of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, expressly ordained 
the performance of Latin tragedies and 
comedies in the hall at Christmas ; and 
at King's also they were a regular 
feature of the academical year, as they 
had been long before with the parent of 
all colleges,with Merton College, Oxford. 
In 1564 Elizabeth saw the ' Aulularia ' 
of Plautus presented on a stage in the 
chapel at King's, and also an English 
play, ' Ezechias,' by the famous 
Nicholas Udall of Eton, who bears the 
honour of being the father of English 
Comedy. Till late years this honour had 
been always given to one Still, after- 
wards Bishop of Bath and Wells, and 
Vice-Chancellor of his University ; his 
' Gammer Gurton's Needle,' first played 
at Christ's College in 1566, was al- 
ways named as the first of the 
race, till Collier deposed it and placed 
the ' Ralph Roister Doister,' of Udall, 
written about 1540, in its stead. 
The good bishop seems in his old age 
to have repented him of his early de- 
viation from the classic path ; at least 
when Vice-Chancellor he remonstrated 
with Elizabeth's ministers for permit- 
ting the entertainment of an English 
play to be offered to her. These 
performances for many years made an 
inevitable part of the honours paid to 
royalty ; and the dramatic tastes of 
the Cambridge students seem more 
than once to have caused some un- 
pleasantness. In Henry the Eighth's 
reign they played a piece called * Pam- 
machus,' which greatly vexed the 
loyal soul of Gardiner, Bishop of 
Winchester, and their Chancellor. 
He remonstrated with the Vice- 
Chancellor, Matthew Parker, and the 
audience were put under a rigorous 
examination. Their memories were, 
however, of that convenient order 



206 



The ' SJumenides' at Cambridge. 



displayed by an important witness at 
the great trial of Queen Caroline : no 
one could remember anything which 
really made against the king's 
righteousness, and so the matter had 
perforce to be dropped. Mr. Froude, 
also, tells a terrible tale of a mis- 
adventure with Henry's great daughter. 
She had been staying at Cambridge 
during one of her "progresses" 
in the summer of 1564, and been 
mightily pleased with all she saw and 
heard. The students prayed her to 
stay yet one more evening to see a 
play they had got up for her ; but she 
could not, having to travel far the next 
day, and intending to sleep some ten 
miles or so out of the town to break 
the journey. Then, says Mr. Froude 
(cruelly, as one who in his day had 
suffered from the " amateur "), " the 
students, too enamoured of their per- 
formance to lose a chance of exhibit- 
ing it, pursued the queen to her rest- 
ing-place." With royal clemency she 
suffered the performance ; but it seems 
unfortunately to have been some sort 
of skit on the Catholic bishops, Bon- 
ner, Heath, Thirlby, and the rest who 
were then waiting judgment in prison, 
and with royal anger she resented it. 
"With indignant words she rose from 
her seat, and swept from the room ; 
the lights were turned out, and the 
discomfited players left to make the 
best of their way back to Cambridge. 
But in the reign of her successor a yet 
greater humiliation fell to the lot of 
the Oxford players ; Elizabeth had 
been angry, but James was bored, and 
said so ! In 1605 the king was at 
Oxford, and among the entertainments 
provided for him were three plays in 
Christ Church hall, memorable among 
other things for being, as it is said, 
the first at which movable scenes 
arranged by Inigo Jones) were used. 
One of these plays was called the 
'Ajax Flagellifer/ The players, 
wrote Leland, "had all the goodly- 
antique apparel, but for all that, it 
was not acted so well by many degrees 
as I have seen it at Cambridge. The 
king was very weary before he came 



thither, but much more wearied by it, 
and spoke many words of dislike." Nor 
was Charles much more fortunate in 
1636, when a piece, written by William 
Strode, the public orator, full of hits 
against earless Prynne and the Puri- 
tans, was performed in the same hall ; 
the worst play, Lord Carnarvon vowed, 
"that ever he saw, but one that he 
saw at Cambridge." However, at the 
same visit Cartwright's ' Royal Slave ' 
was given in the hall of Saint John's 
College, and at this the queen was so 
pleased that she had it repeated after- 
wards at Hampton Court, with the 
same dresses that had been worn by the 
Oxford players. 1 On another occasion 
at the same University, a pastoral, but 
what or by whom is not specified, was 
presented before James and his queen, 
in which the players, according to 
Winwood, were very sparely draped 
indeed; whether this entertainment 
also provoked words of dislike from 
the king, or whether it so pleased the 
queen as to command a royal encore, 
I cannot say. No doubt, when a 
French pastoral was played at Hamp- 
ton Court before Charles, the per- 
formers, including the queen and 
several of her maids of honour, were 
more decently clad. Between 1605 
and 1607 Ben Jonson's 'Yolpone' 
was presented very triumphantly at 
both Universities ; but the plays seem 
to have been mostly of native pro- 
duction, and, of course, to have been 
rather flouted by the regular play- 
wrights. In ' The Return from 
Parnassus ' (acted, by the way, at 
Saint John's College, Cambridge, 
though possibly with this heretical 
passage excised), one of the char- 
acters observes : " Few of the Uni- 
versity pen plays well ; they smell too 
much of that writer Ovid and that 
writer Metamorphosis, and talk too 
much of Proserpine and Jupiter "- 
much as certain of our modern play- 
wrights take objection to the style 
of Shakespeare. 

The drama was much in vogue at 

1 See Mr. Gardiner's 'History of England,' 
VIII. 150-2. 



The ' Eumenides' at Cambridge. 



207 



Cambridge when Milton was an under- 
graduate at Christ's College, but 
whether he bore any part in it I 
am not sure ; he has written, peevishly 
says Johnson, against the custom, but 
that was in his later peevish years ; in 
his youth he seems to have had no ob- 
jection to theatrical amusements, and 
from his good looks and his learning 
one imagines him likely to have been 
useful to any cast. Then the clouds 
of Puritanism darkened the face 
of the land, and the theatre lapsed 
into disgrace. We read of Cowley's 
' Guardian ' being played privately 
at Cambridge in those times, and ap- 
parently by a professional company ; 
but till the Restoration the students 
of either University were probably 
allowed few, if any, such relaxations 
from their graver studies. In 1669, 
however, Cosmo de Medicis, prince of 
Tuscany, was present at a Latin 
comedy in Trinity College, Cambridge ; 
and two years later the king himself 
was entertained with an English play 
in the same collegers he had been when 
Prince of Wales j ust thirty years before. 
So far as my fragmentary researches 
have led me this was the last occasion 
of such honours being paid to royal 
guests. Neither James, nor William, 
nor Anne received them, though the 
latter was entertained at Oxford with 
a concert in the Theatre. Then the 
royal visits altogether ceased, till that 
memorable one whose painful tale is 
told in Madame D'Arblay's journal. 
When the author of 'Cecilia,' half 
fainting from hunger and fatigue, 
was dragged through Oxford in the 
train of her royal mistress it is 
not recorded that any theatrical 
performance enabled the poor lady-in- 
waiting to snatch a few minutes 
of rest. But, indeed, through the 
greater part of the last century the 
atmosphere of Oxford at least seems 
to have been little favourable to such 
erudite amusements. The evidence of 
Swift, Chesterfield, Gibbon, to mention 
but a few notable witnesses, shows but 
too clearly how sadly Oxford had in 
those days fallen from her high estate. 



But to get to our Greek play ; and 
indeed, it is well that the Eumenides 
should be gracious goddesses, for they 
have been kept a long time waiting. 
Every one knows the genesis of these 
antique reproductions : how Oxford 
(that " mother of great movements," as 
one of the most gifted of her later- 
born sons has called her) led off with 
the ' Agamemnon ' of ^Eschylus, and 
how Cambridge followed with the 
' Ajax ' of Sophocles and the ' Birds ' 
of Aristophanes. In intrinsic interest 
the 'Eumenides '^of ^Eschylus is hardly 
in the first rank. It has not the hu- 
manity, nor the majesty, nor the pity 
of such plays, for instance, as ' Aga- 
memnon ' or ' Prometheus,' ' CEdipus, 
the King ' or ' (Edipus at Colonos,' 
the 'Medea' or the 'Alcestis.' It 
has what to a modern critic would be 
a radical fault, it deals with a past 
event ; it is disputatious rather than 
active. On the other hand, certain 
extrinsic circumstances give it an im- 
portance above its purely dramatic 
qualities ; an importance to us, and 
gave it one, we may suppose, to its 
first audience. It is, in the first place, 
a part of the only trilogy extant ; it 
is the final act of one great drama, 
the story of Orestes, of which the 
' Agamemnon ' and the ' Choephori,' 
or ' Libation-bearers,' form the first 
two. To the Athenian, then, who had 
seen the whole tale evolved, from the 
primal curse of blood wrought on the 
house of Atreus through the murder 
of the husband by the wife, on through 
the revenge of the son upon the 
mother, down to the final expiation, 
there was naturally no such sense of 
inaction as we feel who see only now 
the last act. During something over 
n ^y years it was the common, though 
probably not indispensable, custom for 
each competing tragedian to produce 
four plays ; three serious ones (not 
necessarily connected with each other) 
and a shorter piece, called a crarv/ao?, or 
satyric drama, from the Chorus being 
composed of satyrs; of which the 
' Cyclops ' of Euripides, familiar, let 
us hope, even to those who are not 



208 



The ' Eumenides' at Cambridge. 



Grecians, through Shelley's admirable 
translation, is the sole example. This 
combination was known as a rerpoAoyta, 
or tetralogy ; sometimes the fourth 
piece was omitted, and then the 
three tragedies were styled a rpiXoyia, 
or trilogy. The earliest of such tri- 
logies is that one of ^Eschylus which 
contained the 'Persse,' exhibited B.C. 
472 ; the last recorded tetralogy was 
one exhibited by Euripides B.C. 415, of 
which the ' Troades ' alone remains. 
The three plays by .^Eschylus, which 
form the ( Oresteia ' or story of Orestes, 
is the only perfect trilogy which has 
survived. This fact (which is, of course, 
common knowledge to all students of 
the Greek drama, but for such I do 
not presume to write), it is well to 
bear in mind when considering the 
' Eumenides ' as a play. 

But to the Athenians it had 
another importance ; one, indeed, not 
altogether proper " to the purpose 
of playing/' yet one which even those 
fine critics could not have wholly put 
by. At the time of the play, about 
458 B.C., the time of the rupture with 
Sparta and the alliance with Argos, 
the feeling between the Aristocratic 
party, or Conservatives as we should 
now say, led by Cimon, and the Demo- 
cratic party led by Pericles, was at 
its height. Progress was the order of 
the day, and one of the most popular 
movements on that dim uncertain 
road was the abolition of the Areo- 
pagus, which one fond, like Mr. 
Courthope, of political parallels, 
might explain as the disestablishment 
of the House of Lords. At any rate 
that old aristocratic assembly was to 
go, or at least to be reformed away 
into practical nothingness. It was, 
said the Democrats, old-fashioned, un- 
wieldy, superfluous, the stronghold of 
a selfish nobility : it must go. One 
of its especial privileges was that of 
supreme jurisdiction in all cases of 
homicide. Ephialtes, the most popular 
champion of the Democratical party 
next to Pericles, is believed by some 
to have brought forward a motion 
to abolish this special privilege. He 



had certainly caused the laws of 
Solon to be brought down from the 
Acropolis and deposited in the market- 
place, so as to signify the transfer 
of their guardianship from the senate 
to the people, a piece of impiety, 
as many of course called it, for which 
he not long after paid with his 
life. Others, however, and among 
them both Thirlwall and Grote, hold 
that the jurisdiction in cases of 
murder was still to be left, and in 
fact to be the sole power left, to 
the Areopagus. It is certain that 
some such power, nominally at any 
rate, belonged to that assembly very 
nearly down to the Christian era ; but 
that any real attempt had ever been 
made to annul it is not so certain. This 
uncertainty throws a curious doubt on 
the exact tendency of the political al- 
lusions in the last scene of the play. 
^Eschylus, as became "a man of Mara- 
thon," might certainly be supposed to 
have been on the side of the Tories, and 
the charge of Athena to the twelve 
citizens whom she had summoned to 
decide between the Furies and Orestes, 
seems surely to point that way. 

" men of Athens, ye who first do judge 
The law of bloodshed, hear me now ordain 
Here to all time, for ^Egeus' Attic host, 
. Shall stand this council-court of judges 

sworn ; 

Here the tribunal, set on Ares' Hill 
Where camped of old the tented Amazons, 
What time in hate of Theseus they assailed 
Athens, and set against her citadel 
A counterwork of new sky-pointing towers, 
And there to Ares held their sacrifice, 
Where now the rock hath name, even Ares' 

Hill. 
And hence shall Eeverence and her kinsmar 

Fear 
Pass to each free man's heart, by day and 

night, 

Enjoining, ' Thou shalt do no unjust thing,' 
So long as Law stands as it stood of old 
Unmarred by civic change. Look you, the 

spring 

Is pure ; but foul it once with influx vile 
And muddy clay, and none can drink 

thereof. 

Therefore, citizens, I bid ye bow 
In awe to this command, ' Let no man live 
Uncurbed by Law or curbed by tyranny, 
Nor banish ye the monarchy of Awe 
Beyond the walls ; untouched by fear 

divine 
No man doth justice, in the world of men 



The ' Eumenides ' at Cambridge. 



209 



Therefore in purity and holy awe 

Stand and revere ; so shall ye have and hold 

A saving bulwark of the state and land, 

Such as no man hath ever elsewhere known, 

Nor in far Scythia, nor in Pelops' realm. 

Thus I ordain it now, 

A court unsullied by the lust of gain, 

Sacred and swift to vengeance, wakeful ever 

To champion men who sleep, the country's 

guard. 

Thus have I spoken, thus to mine own clan 
Commended it for ever. " J 

It certainly seems hard to under- 
stand this in any other light than that 
of an emphatic appeal against meddling 
with an august and precious institu- 
tion. But others have thought that 
the poet's real design was to urge the 
Athenians to be content with the juris- 
diction over murderers still to be left 
by the reformers in the hands of the 
old tribunal ; and they argue from this 
and from a later passage praising the 
alliance with Argos, that JEschylus 
was really on the side of Pericles. It 
is impossible for any man to say pre- 
cisely how this may have been. It 
may be that the poetic voice had after 
all some influence, and that Ephialtes 
thought it prudent to moderate his 
first proposal. This, however, could 
only be settled by a knowledge of the 
precise dates of the passing of the 
measure and the production of the 
play; and perhaps it is the safest 
way to believe that the poet, like 
a wise man, so framed his words that 
his hearers might take them each 
according to his disposition. But the 
political turn is there, clear enough, 
whichever way it tended ; and one 
can well understand how keen a zest 
it must have given to the closing scene 
among that curious, eager, restless 
people, at a time when the current of 
party-feeling ran so high. 

Other causes than these had, no 
doubt, too, their share in the selection 
of the play by those responsible for 
its choice at Cambridge. The feel- 
ings which stirred the Greek audience 
of old, and the feelings which stir 

'The House of Atreus,' by E. D. A. 
Morshead, M.A., late Fellow of New College, 
Assistant Master of Winchester College ; from 
which the translations of the play here used 
are taken. 

No. 315 VOL. LIIT. 



the Greek student of to-day, could 
hardly with reason be allowed an 
Areopagitic supremacy of jurisdiction. 
The spectacular quality of the drama 
now, as then, must come into the ac- 
count, and in this quality the 'Eu- 
menides ' is particularly rich ; especially 
in that side of the quality which turns 
most strongly to modern melodrama. 
The Chorus of Furies obviously was 
full of possibilities : the three scenes, 
the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the 
temple of Athena on the Acropolis, 
the Areopagus, all so closely bound up 
with the national history and religion 
of the Athenians, these, too, would 
naturally play their part in determin- 
ing the choice of a play designed to 
reproduce to modern eyes so essential 
a feature of old Greek life. And from 
one point of view no possibility had 
been missed. Allowing for the small- 
ness of the stage and when one con- 
siders how large a share in the pomp 
and majesty of the performance the 
spacious Athenian theatre must have 
played, the allowance is no slight one 
allowing for this, the furnishing of 
the scene, the grouping of the charac- 
ters, and all what we call generally 
stage - management, was admirably 
picturesque and effective. Especially 
so was the last scene of all, when 
the fair words of Athena had pre- 
vailed upon the baffled Furies to put 
by their anger and become gracious 
goddesses indeed ; and when the white- 
robed attendants filed past the judg- 
ment-seat, with solemn chant escorting 
'Night's childless children" to their 

new home beneath the Sacred Hill : 

" With loyalty we lead you : proudly cr O , 
Night's childless children, to your home 

below ! 

(0 countrymen, a while from words for- 
bear ! ) 

To Darkness' deep primeval lair, 
Far in Earth's bosom, downward fare, 
Adored with prayer and sacrifice ! 
(0 citizens, forbear your cries !) 
Pass hitherward, ye powers of Dread, 
With all your wrath, that was, allayed 
Into the heart of this loved land ; 
With joy unto your temple wend, 
The while upon your steps attend 
The flames that feed upon the brand 
(Now, now ring out your chant, your ioy's 
acclaim!) 

P 



210 



The ' JSumenides ' at Cambridge. 



Behind them, downward as they fare, 
Let holy hands libations bear, 

And torches' sacred flame. 
All -seeing Zeus and Fate come down 
To battle fair for Pallas' town ! 
Ring out your chant, ring out your joy's 
acclaim ! " 

Even there, cabined and confined 
within the narrow compass of the little 
Cambridge theatre, the pomp and cir- 
cumstance of the scene were singularly 
fine and stirring. What must it not 
have been in Athens itself, in Athens 
of the prime ! in the great theatre of 
Dionysus on the very slope of the 
Sacred Hill, as the stately pageant 
paced along in the delicate air and 
gracious sunlight of the Attic spring, 
and the rhythmic chant of the Chorus 
swelled to its final notes of triumph ! 

" Then what golden hours were for us, 

As we sat together there, 
When the white vests of the Chorus 

Seemed to wave up a live air ! 
When the cothurns trod majestic 

Down the deep iambic lines, 
And the rolling anapaestic 

Curled like vapour over shrines ! " 

How were these plays acted 1 What 
the plays were themselves we know, 
and with tolerable certainty we know 
what the theatrical arrangements were, 
the building and furnishing of the 
stage, the number of the actors and 
the chorus, the scenes, the dresses. 
But the acting ? Of that we really 
know nothing ; each man is free to 
form his own conclusions from his own 
consciousness, or the learning of others. 
For my part I must frankly own that, 
save for that last scene, and a moment- 
ary picture or two, the performance in 
no way tallied with my notions of a 
Greek play ; clever it indisputably was, 
picturesque, animated, striking ; but, 
even allowing for the inevitable and 
impassable gulf which divides the old 
world from the new, root and branch 
opposed to all my poor intellect had 
ever conceived of the original. Of 
acting, as we take the word, I can- 
not imagine the Greeks to have 
had any idea, at least before the 
day of the New Comedy. We know 
that the actors wore huge masks, 
constructed in some forgotten fashion 



to swell the volume of the voice, which 
must otherwise in that vast unroofed 
theatre have been but a feeble pipe ; 
we know that they increased their 
stature by various means. Surely thus 
accoutred and encumbered their move- 
ments must necessarily have been more 
deliberate and measured than those 
the brisk vivacious style of the modern 
stage affects. Would the shade of 
Clytemnestra, for example (and how 
admirable it was in its first inception ! ) 
would that " dim sheeted ghost," with 
the red gash still marring the white 
throat, have rushed like a mere angry 
mortal down among the sleeping 
Furies ? Nothing could have been. 
more impressive than its entrance, 
and the way it spoke its first re- 
proaches, from the inmost recesses of* 
the shrine, half shrouded in the altar- 
smoke 

"Sleep on! Awake! what skills your sleep* 
to me ! " 

seemed very much to me the right way. 
Should it not have been so to the 
end 1 Should not the voice alone have 
been suffered to rouse the sleepers? 
Something one fancies this ghost to 
have been like that shape Saul saw at 
Endor, and so to have spoken : 

" From lips that moved not and unbreathing 

frame, 

Like cavern'd winds the hollow accents 
came. " 

Or, if the phantom must have em- 
ployed some more human action, 
might it not have been something 
more deliberate and dignified ? 

* Awake and hear for mine own soul I cry 
Awake, ye powers of hell ! the wandering 

soul 
That once was Clytemnestra calls arise ! " 

Surely in these words one finds no 
indication of mere human hurry and 
bustle, of rousing the sleepers as one 
might rouse a lazy 'Jboy from his bed 
for morning school ! Again, when the ' 
Pythian priestess rushes out from the j 
inner shrine where she has seen the j 
slumbering monsters, and falls in her ! 
terror supine upon the stage, how i 
does the text support this action ? 



The ' Eumenides ' at Cambridge. 



211 



" Things fell to speak of, fell for eyes to see, 
Have sped me forth again from Loxias' 

shrine, 
"With strength unstrung, moving erect no 

more, 

But aiding with my hands my failing feet, 
Unnerved by fear." 

True, there was a time when an 
ingenious Scholiast, foreshadowing 
the age of realism, supposed this to 
signify that the priestess came crawl - 
ing in on her hands and knees ; but 
then a Scholiast is capable of anything. 
And, indeed, I am not sure that even 
so very literal an interpretation would 
not match the text better than this 
" back fall " ! 

But there is another reason, which, 
to me at least, carries yet greater 
weight ; there is the quality of the 
verse. I cannot think that those ma- 
jestic Greek iambics were spoken in 
the conversational style of modern 
dialogue, just as I cannot conceive 
~ k the style of the modern stage to suit 
the scarce less majestic iambic of 
Shakespeare. Let me be permitted 
for once to quote the native Greek : 

yap of/id /col papaivcrai 



iro-raiviov yap ov irpbs ec-rio 0eot) 
Ka.6apij.dis 



Place beside it such a passage as this 

" Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay, 
Who twice a day their withered hands -hold 

up 
Toward Heaven, to pardon blood ; and I 

have built 
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn 

priests 
Sing still for Eichard's soul. " 

Surely it is not considering too curi- 
ously to consider that verse of this 
great quality demands a style and tone 
of speech altogether different from that 
modern custom, and perhaps I may add 
modern language, prescribes. Surely 

' ' Look, how the stain of blood 
Is dull upon my hand, and wastes away, 
And laved and lost therewith is the deep 

curse 
Of matricide. For while the guilt was 

new, 
'Twas banished from me at Apollo's 

hearth, 
Atoned and purified by death of swine. " 



a grand manner of speech is needful 
here, if ever needful anywhere ; some 
larger utterance than our frail modern 
tongues are taught to frame, to do 
fit service to these imperial cadences. 
" They stand generally still in solemn 
dignified attitudes, so as to look very 
much like coloured statues or figures 
in a bas-relief; and they utter the sonor- 
ous verse in a kind of recitative, yet 
so distinctly that the words may be 
accurately heard by all the audience." 2 
In this passage seems to me to lie the 
very purpose of the old Greek playing. 
About the Chorus there must be even 
more uncertainty ; about all Greek 
music there is uncertainty. It seems, 
however, to be generally agreed that 
the accompaniment to the choric odes 
of tragedy and to the movements of 
the singers was of some very solemn 
and simple kind. One fancies, at 
least, that it could never have been 
loud enough to drown, or even to in- 
terfere with, the voices of the singers ; 
that it must have been essentially 
an accompaniment. If one most 
ignorant of the musical art may be 
permitted to guess, I should be in- 
clined to think it might possibly have 
been something like that we call 
the Gregorian chant. However, it is 
but impertinence in me to speak of 
such things, and I certainly should 
not presume to criticise Mr. Stanford's 
music. It was said to be very good, 
and I can well believe it was so. Cer- 
tainly, even to an unskilled ear, there 
were many passages in it most pleas- 
ing and it seemed most congenial to 
the words and motive ; the closing 
chant, for example, and the song be- 
ginning 



" aye 5$j Kal 

arvyepav 



"Weave the weird dance, behold, the hour 
To utter forth the chant.of hell" 

2 'JSschylus/ by Eeginald S. Copleston, 
Fellow and Lecturer of St. John's College, 
Oxford (the present Bishop of Colombo) ; in 
Blackwood's 'Ancient Classics for English 
Eeaders' one of the best volumes in an 
admirable series. 

p 2 



212 



The ' JZumenid-es' at Cambridge. 



and probably only to an unskilled ear 
could it at any time have sounded too 
loud, too overpowering, too noisy. 

But, after all, these things can only 
be to us as the judicious may deter- 
mine. And probably the most judi- 
cious will determine only that he 
knows nothing. It must all be mere 
guesswork; and the cleverest guess will 
be leagues, it may be, away from the 
reality. How far probably from the 
reality are all our efforts to bring back 
the form and colour of the vanished 
past ! And, to take another view, who 
shall say that the responsible authori- 
ties were not wise in their kind to mo- 
dernise on every side this old-world 
scene 'J To a generation which can 
find in Shakespeare only an excuse 
for carpentering and upholstery, what 
yawning abysses of despair would not 
a Greek play reveal, if it were any 
thing such as I have here feebly 
essayed to conceive. And from the 
modern view how good it was ! How 
thoroughly done, how smooth and well 
ordered ! In how few English-speak- 
ing theatres would one find anything 
like the precision, intelligence, and ac- 
curacy with which these players had 
mastered assuredly no holiday task ! 
How refreshing even to think of 
the long hours these buoyant young 
spirits 

" There in the joy of their life and glory of 
shooting-jackets, " 

must have passed without a murmur 
in the mere acquisition of the text 
and the dull routine of rehearsal ! 
How incomparably superior an occupa- 
tion to agitating for the franchise, or 
riding on bicycles, or any other of those 
debasing enjoyments which a younger 
generation has adopted for the en- 
chantments that once were ours of 
the middle age ! What a succession of 
bright engaging pictures, of radiant 
figures ! What ideal gods of Hellas 
were Apollo and Hermes ! Like the 
lonians glorified in the old Homeric 
hymn, one might have thought them 



immortal and unaging; or as that 
conqueriDg son of Archestratos whom 
Pindar saw in his spring-tide bloom 
beside the altar at Olympia. The pro- 
priety of assigning Athena's part to a 
woman is not so certain. The fact that 
all the personages of the Attic theatre 
were presented by males we may pass 
by ; that is a sentiment, and those 
who after due thought determined to 
"do it after the high modern fashion " 
were surely wise to discard all senti- 
ment. But the voice ! The female 
voice, that excellent thing in woman, 
is, as a woman has herself said, 

" Somewhat low for ats and ots." 

It is hardly competent to give the 
necessary volume and emphasis to 
those grand Greek syllables, to say 
nothing of the inevitable contrast with 
the deeper voices around it. But, 
when this has been said, it must be also 
said that hard indeed it would have 
been to find either man or woman 
to deliver the words with more clear- 
ness and perception ; or to present a 
more charming figure in the white robe, 
glancing helmet, and long-shadowing 
spear even if charm be not the 
capital idea we should get from the 
vision of her whose eyes could " shine 
terribly." 

The Furies must have been difficult 
creatures to deal with, even as Orestes 
found them. As a Chorus certainly 
they were most exactly trained, and 
marshalled by a most earnest and 
skilful leader. Their guise is said to 
have been copied as literally as might 
be from some old vase-paintings, and 
so one must not dispute it. Certainly 
they made a grim and ghastly band 
enough, if possibly a shade more gro- 
tesque than necessary. 

And, for the last word, may one say, 
without being impertinent or captious, 
that it was all indeed a very pretty 
poem, if one must not call it ! 
^Eschylus 1 

MOWBRAY MORRIS. 



213 



ODE ON A NEAR PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE. 

THE SHADE OF DR. HAWTREY SPEAKS. 

WAKED from my sleep on thy dear breast, 
Etona, by some strange unrest 

Thy hallowed stones I tread ; 
Beholding startled, sad, dismayed, 
The spot wherein my boyhood played, 

My manhood ruled as Head. 

A narrower, less pellucid air 

Pervades thy courts and cloisters, where, 

Scholars and gentlemen, 
Of ampler thought, serener brow, 
\afJL7rpOTOLTOv 



Here, in those generations gone, 
Fairer than their own Helicon 

The Muses found a home ; 
Here taught our lisping tongues to raise 
Some echoes of those deathless lays, 
The glory of the golden days 

Of Athens and of Rome. 

Vanished is now that heavenly Choir; 
The thoughts that burn, the poet's fire 

A colder age disdains; 
The mighty roll of Homer's verse 
Gives way to German, French, or worse, 

And Prose triumphant reigns. 

Strange studies whose outlandish name 
My shuddering lips refuse to frame 

The place of Classics fill ; 
Long Chamber is improved away, 
King's Scholars gownless now may stray ; 

The Brewery is still. 

To "Absence" oft, to chapels more, 
To schools far longer than of yore 

Thy sad Alumni flock ; 
More frequent " Pcenas " to be done, 
More stern commands to " Come at one," 
And shade of Keate, forgive them ! none 

To worship at the block ! 



214 Ode on a Near Prospect of Eton College. 

These changes, to an Eton mind 
So rude, so needless and unkind, 

I might perchance condone, 
If but the Vandal's ruthless hand 
Would let thine ancient buildings stand, 

Would leave thy walls alone. 

But no ! the whirlwind of reform 

E'en Upper School must wreathe in storm, 

And desolation spread 
O'er those old panels that enshrine, 
Column on column, line on line, 

The memories of thy dead. 

What stories could those panels tell 

Of sons of thine, who, through the spell 

And magic of thy name, 
Tn England's victories have bled, 
Her fortunes ruled, her senates led, 
O'er Letters, Art, Keligion, shed 

The lustre of thy fame ! 

The Library whose precincts yield 
Some quiet hours from stream and field, 

Whose wealth of lettered lore 
'Twas mine to cherish and adorn, 
From old associations torn, 

Must know its place no more ! 

That home which Savile, Keate, and I, 
Found good enough in days gone by, 

Is this too doomed to fall, 
And in one common ruin blend 
Each old familiar gabled friend 
Whose roofs in dear disorder trend 

Down to the Sacred Wall ! 

If gentle Henry's holy shade 

But dreamed the havoc to be made, 

Not e'en the crack of doom 
Would in more consternation call 
His statue from its pedestal, 

His spirit from its tomb ! 

Sons of our Gracious Mother, wake ! 
Ere yet the billows o'er her break, 

Roll back the rising tide; 
That unborn ages may behold 
On her high banner's blazoned fold 
" Esto perpetua," still? enrolled 

The motto of her pride ! 

B. M. T. 



215 



A STRANGE TEMPTATION. 



I WENT to Alderthwaite for rest and 
change of scene. Perhaps the place 
was ill chosen, for I knew it to have 
been a favourite haunt of Wilfrid 
Gale's. This very knowledge attracted 
me to the spot, when it ought to 
have driven me away ; for if I wanted 
a real mental change I should have 
gone to some retreat wholly uncon- 
nected with the memory of my friend. 

Wilfrid Gale had died young; 
weary, heart-sick, and disappointed. 
His ambition had brought to him only 
humiliation, his talent had led him on 
to despair. He was a literary genius, 
undeveloped, but full of promise, and 
his hopes of early success had been 
withered by neglect, or nipped by cruel 
criticism. If he had been a strong 
man he might have faced the world's 
indifference until it had changed to 
applause ; but his health was delicate 
and his organisation sensitive ; and he 
may be said to have died of his last 
failure, a failure which a little waiting 
might have turned to success. 

The story of his life was a sad one, 
and it seemed to his sister Alison a 
real tragedy. In her eyes his genius 
seemed immense, his difficulties unpre- 
cedented. He had been her hero, his 
talents had been her glory, and his 
defeat brought to her the keenest 
disappointment. He was one of the 
immortals, and she the favoured being 
destined to minister at his side, and 
shine in the reflected brightness of his 
success. So she had dreamed in happier 
days, before she knew that her lot 
would be darker than this ; that she 
was fated only to soothe his sorrows 
and to watch by him in the weary days 
of his passing away. 

I had always believed in Wilfrid's 
talent and ultimate success, and I 



admired his sister a great deal. When 
he died I readily undertook the task 
of editing his works ; this was proposed 
to me by his publishers, and I carried 
it out with zeal and enjoyment. His 
writing was good, though somewhat 
immature, and the last of his books 
was full of an irregular but highly 
original power. He had accepted 
its defeat too soon. The literary world 
was still hesitating whether to forget 
it and let it pass by, to be stranded on 
a lonely shore for ever ; or to take it 
up with enthusiasm and to waft 
it down the tide of the generations 
in a whirlwind of applause. The 
death of the author turned the 
scale ; the work received immediate 
and general attention; my little in- 
troductory Life of Wilfrid Gale 
was read with interest ; there was a 
demand for a complete edition of his 
writings. He was declared to be 
among the immortals who had died 
young, leaving the world only a faint 
indication of their undoubted powers. 
His neglected productions were neatly 
bound in volumes suitable for a library 
of classical literature; some of his 
characters were declared to be crea- 
tions of such power that they could 
never be forgotten ; they must secure 
to their author a permanent niche in 
the great temple of fame. 

Nothing else could have consoled 
Alison Gale so much for the death of 
her brother. His most earnest desire 
had been realised though he might 
not know it and his life had not been 
thrown away. She chose to believe 
that it was mainly through my 
instrumentality that " justice" had at 
last been done to him. 

" They would not listen," she said. 
"I knew if he could only get their 
attention once, all difficulty would be 
over. You have made them hear 



216 



A Strange Temptation. 



against their will, and now they can 
never forget, never be indifferent 
again." 

Her gratitude was very pleasant to 
nie, though I thought it overstrained. 
I had certainly spoken from a vantage 
ground which her brother had never 
reached. I was nob a clever man 
myself, but I had the reputation of 
one, which was a more profitable 
thing. I belonged to a literary family. 
I had run in the grooves of publica- 
tion all my life. I wrote for critical 
papers, my name carried weight, and 
I was credited with more judgment 
than I possessed. Perhaps I had given 
my poor friend's little bark the final 
shove that was wanted to get it off 
the shallows into the current of popu- 
larity ; I stood at a good spot for 
making such pushes, and 1 was some- 
times inclined to regret that I had no 
large venture of my own to embark. 
On this occasion I had put more 
strength than usual into the effort of 
launching ; I had been moved by my 
friend's death, interested in his works, 
and excited by his sister's appeal to 
me to do my best. My nerves were 
overstrained, my identity seemed lost 
in that of Wilfrid Gale ; I lived in 
the world of his creations and could 
not get back into a wholesome at- 
mosphere of cynical selfishness ; his 
enthusiasm possessed me ; I was in 
one of those moods in which if 
the exponents of fashionable modern 
Buddhism are right the wander- 
ing earthly shell, the discarded 
mortal will of my dead friend, might 
easily have taken hold of me, and bent 
me to its service. My poor friend's 
will had never been a very strong one, 
however, never so strong as his genius, 
and something happened to me wholly 
different from this. 

I went down to Alderthwaite to 
have a quiet time, boating on the lake 
and wandering on the moors. Alison 
Gale bade me good-bye with tears in 
her eyes ; and I felt, as I pressed her 
hand and looked into her sad face, 
that she who had been the inspiration 
of my recent task might t be willing 



soon to become its reward. The devo- 
tion she had lavished on her brother 
might be transferred at last to his 
best friend, as she persisted in calling 
me. 

This thought was a pleasant one, 
and I hoped to fill up idle moments at 
Alderthwaite with happy day-dreams 
of my own. I intended to think of 
Alison and of my own future, and to 
have done for the present with 
Wilfrid and his melancholy fate. 

When I got down to the place I 
found that the inn at which my friend 
had usually stayed was closed for re- 
pairs. I was obliged to take lodgings 
at a farmhouse on the shore of the 
lake. It was a tumble-down, pic- 
turesque place, which had once been 
the manor-house, and still held the 
proud name of Alderthwaite Hall. 
Two half ruined towers rose at its 
corners, smothered in ivy, and one 
window only looked out on the lonely 
waters of the lake, with the unpeopled 
fells rising from its further shore. 
The farm people occupied some build- 
ings at the back, with a cheerful view 
into their own stable-yards and pig- 
styes. The east side of the house was 
reserved for lodgers, artists, fishermen, 
and such eccentric creatures, who pre- 
ferred scenery to comfort. It had a 
separate entrance, and was tolerably 
furnished. The great attractions of the 
place were the vicinity of the water 
and the use of the shabby boat. 

I fancied that I could be very com- 
fortable there for a couple of weeks ; 
so I engaged rooms, sent for my traps, 
and established myself in the place. 

Before proceeding further I must 
explain that I did not believe in 
ghosts, and had no connection with 
any psychical society. I was not on 
the look-out for spiritual experiences, 
and I believed that a healthy mind 
in a healthy body would enable any 
man to laugh at suggestions of the 
supernatural. 

Perhaps at this time my mind was 
not in a healthy condition, and I be- 
came subject to delusions, like some 
other unfortunate persons. In that 



I 



A Strange Temptation. 



217 



case I have done a grievous wrong to 
a friend whom I loved, and wrecked 
my own life without any reason 
whatever. I am impelled to tell my 
story in the hope that, if it does not 
justify my conduct, it will at least 
explain the terrible temptation in 
which I was unexpectedly placed. It 
may be also that some persons will take 
my own view of the case, and believe 
that I was impelled to put an end to 
much unmerited and useless suffering, 
at the cost of trouble to myself and 
disappointment to the woman I loved. 

My first evening at Alderthwaite 
Hall was a pleasant one ; the weather 
was fine, and I strolled out along the 
shore of the lake. Afterwards I re- 
turned to my room, and wrote a few 
letters. The room was comfortable 
and cheerful in the lamp-light ; the 
only thing that troubled me about it 
was a perplexing sense of familiarity, 
as if I had been in the place before, 
and had some sad association with it. 
This, of course, was impossible. 

The quietness of the place was 
agreeable to me in the irritated state 
of my nerves. The farmyard sounds 
had ceased ; the farm people were out 
of hearing at the other side of the 
building. There was a glimmer of 
moonlight on the lake, and I had not 
drawn down the blind of my window, 
so that I could see the still shining 
water whenever I lifted my head from 
my paper. 

It was strange that this deep silence 
did not produce an impression of soli- 
tude. On the contrary I continually 
felt as if some one were sitting in the 
room watching me. More than once 
I looked over my shoulder with a start 
to see who it was. Then I smiled at 
my own imagination, which peopled 
this solitude with personages. 

Nevertheless, the impression re- 
turned as soon as I had become 
absorbed in my work: I felt that a 
woman a woman whom I knew quite 
well sat in a chair behind me, watch- 
ing with folded hands. The impres- 
sion always grew upon me in an 
I indirect sort of manner as my attention 



became more and more diverted to my 
work ; when it had become sufficiently 
intense to be disturbing, and so to 
rouse me to think of it seriously, it 
vanished. 

There was nothing in the nature of 
terror in this unusual sensation of a 
familiar presence when nobody was 
there. I had something of the same 
feeling in the passages of the house, 
and when I went up to my bedroom, 
just as if the place were occupied by 
persons whom I knew quite well, and 
might expect to meet without any sur- 
prise on the landings or the stairs. 
The closed doors which I passed on my 
way did not seem to me to be shut on 
empty rooms persons who were not 
strangers lived behind them, and might 
come out and speak to me at any 
moment. 

This impression was not unpleasant, 
though I smiled at its unreality. I 
supposed that living in a crowd had 
made it impossible for me to realise 
all at once the fact of solitude, and the 
complete stillness of deserted rooms. 
My imagination peopled them with 
beings full of life and business, going 
about in a silent manner something 
like my own. Once I had a fancy 
that I met a young girl on the stairs, 
who smiled at me as she passed. I 
found myself smiling in return before 
I had time to consider the folly of it. 
Another time I thought a child's 
laugh disturbed the air outside, but 
no child was near when I went to the 
door to look round. 

On the second evening I went for a 
row on the lake by moonlight. I kept 
near the shore, and I was coasting a 
promontory, where a great tree hid 
from me the tiny bay on the other 
side, when I was startled by a faint 
cry beyond the darkness of the foliage. 
There seemed to be a shiver of the 
water, a shining of ripples in the 
moonlight, and then all was still again. 
When I rowed round the point, the 
little bay was quiet enough; there 
was no sign of any movement or any 
presence there. 

Nevertheless, as I made my way 



218 



A Strange Temptation. 



home again I was oppressed by the 
consciousness of something^ in the 
atmosphere more tragic and intense 
than usual ; my mental feelings were 
analogous to those physical ones de- 
scribed by many when there is " thun- 
der in the air." Something remarkable 
was going to happen, nay, was happen- 
ing, just outside the range of my 
perceptions ; I groped in the darkness, 
and had not the sense necessary to 
discover what was going on around 
me. To all outward appearance the 
world was quiet, and at rest ; to my 
uneasy consciousness it was full of a 
painful life which depressed without 
revealing itself to me. 

When my landlady brought my 
supper that night I took occasion to 
ask if the place had ever been haunted, 
but she repelled the idea with indig- 
nation. Nothing had ever happened 
there to make it haunted, she said. 
It had always been a well-to-do place, 
with well-to-do and well-behaved folks 
living there. I came to the conclusion 
that my own nerves were at fault, and 
that a period of rest and quiet would 
dissipate all unpleasant fancies. 

But the next night as I sat at the 
table writing a hand seemed to be 
laid on my shoulder. I turned quickly, 
and seemed to see a woman's eyes fixed 
on me in the dimness behind. There 
was something commanding in the 
look^ and the hand held me as if to 
compel attention. I roused myself to 
an attitude of repellent observation, 
and as I looked defiantly into the 
shadow the sensations faded away ; 
there was no hand on my shoulder, 
there were no eyes in the dimness : 
yet, before they went, their look had 
seemed to change from passionate 
insisting to entreaty, reproach, despair. 

I got up and walked about the room 
impatiently, determined to shake off 
my nervous weakness ; something 
stopped me once, like a sob of dis- 
appointment, but when I listened, 
again there was silence. 

I moved the furniture ; I looked 
into the cupboards ; finally, I took my 
hat and went out. But from that 



time forward I was haunted not only 
by the consciousness of a life which 
moved unseen around me, but also 
by that of a reproachful personality, 
which followed me sadly from hour to 
hour, and vainly strove to open some 
communication with me. 

I did not want the communication, 
for my part. I avoided it, and re- 
pelled it. It seemed to me the 
beginning of madness, or of some 
knowledge too sad to be borne. When 
in my idler moments the conscious- 
ness grew upon me, and the look and 
the touch took more definite form, 
until it seemed as if they would blend 
at last into a voice which I must hear, 
then I roused myself defiantly, and 
said to the unknown presence, " You 
are not there; I do not believe in 
you ; I will not see you," and stared 
hard into the daylight or the darkness. 

With the sound of a little sigh, the 
breath of a hope gone out, the pre- 
sence would cease to be, and I stood 
free for a time. 

In all these strange visitations, 
which grew more frequent and more 
defined, I could not say that I ever 
heard, or saw, or felt any distinct 
thing; I was only conscious through 
my brain, through my intelligence, as 
distinguished from my senses at the 
moment, that they were there to be 
heard, or felt, or seen. 

I knew that some one spoke, I felt 
certain that some one looked at me, 
but it was with the consciousness with 
which we realise things told in clever 
books that I knew it. My senses had 
little to do with this experience ; as 
soon as I roused myself to have full 
command over them, I became con- 
vinced that my impressions had no 
foundation in fact ; they were woven 
out of my own vivid imagination and 
seemed real because my nerves were 
weak. 

This feeling of being continually 
followed by a presence which was 
sometimes reproachful and sometimes 
beseeching was, however, very un- 
pleasant. The vague curiosity which 
I occasionally felt concerning the other 






A Strange Temptation. 



219 



visionary personalities which appeared 
to live round me was quelled by my 
instinctive resistance to the one who 
seemed to have some claim or to make 
some demand upon me. I felt at 
times as if an effort was being made 
to reach me in some way and to com- 
pel my conscious attention. There 
was something I was to be made to 
know, something I was to under- 
stand. 

I had no desire to understand it. 
The only world with which I had, so 
far, had any personal acquaintance, 
contained a great deal of unpleasant- 
ness, and a large number of respon- 
sibilities. I did not wish to be 
introduced to another one, and to be 
entangled in its troubles. I felt sure, 
already, that it was full of troubles. 
If it was a real world I wished to 
have nothing to do with it ; if, on the 
other hand, it was the creation of my 
ill-controlled fancy, this fancy must 
be resisted in the interest of my own 
sanity. 

As my health improved and I began 
to eat and to sleep well, and yet the 
strange impressions did not pass away, 
I resolved to leave Alderthwaite, and 
so to get rid of them. I announced 
my resolution to my landlady, without 
telling her my reason, and I began to 
pack up my things. But from the 
moment when I determined to go the 
struggle, if I may call it so, became 
more intense. I never felt alone ; 
beseeching hands followed me, entreat- 
ing voices spoke to me, angry eyes 
looked at me. What they asked I 
did not know ; I only knew that I 
could not be rid of them however 
much I absorbed myself in activity. 

At last I was tired, and sat down to 
rest in my sitting-room. It was late 
in the evening ; I had only a couple 
of letters to write, giving my change 
of address. The farm people had gone 
to bed early as usual, and most of the 
haunting images of the daytime had 
faded away with it. I was alone, yet 
not alone ; for one was with me, per- 
sistent, demanding, unwearied. 

I sat at the table and felt that, as 



before, eyes watched me and waited, 
eyes that I could not see, but which 
strove to make me feel their presence. 
Another will besides mine penetrated 
the gloom of the place, and a resolve, 
strong with the strength of despair, 
seemed to struggle with my resolution 
to go away ignorant. The strength 
of this resolve, and the painfulness of 
it, impressed itself upon me ever more 
and more. It seemed to myself that, 
at last, with a certain outbreak of 
impatience, I yielded to the demand 
made upon me, and turned round from 
the window with a look of inquiry in 
my eyes. 

At first I saw nothing unusual in 
the shadow of that corner where 
rested an apparently empty chair. 
But I knew that some one was there, 
and I felt that my momentary surren- 
der had been accepted. A certain 
power from the darkness seemed to 
reach me and hold my attention fixed ; 
and then without any feeling of sur- 
prise I began to see that some one 
sat in the chair, and to meet the gleam 
of eager eyes fixed on me with intent- 
ness. I knew then that whether 
madness or knowledge lay before me 
it was too late to escape. My 
former experiences had been vague 
impressions ; my present was one of 
deliberate, though unwilling, obser- 
vation. 

The eyes grew clearer and more 
luminous, and the outlines of the face 
became more distinct. It was a dark 
and angry countenance, the face of a 
woman of thirty, handsome, but very 
unhappy. Her look was fixed upon 
me with something like a command, 
yet it was not a command, it was 
rather a conscious and determined 
force ; she did not order me to sur- 
render to her all my thoughts, she 
made me do it ; she held me with 
the strength of a desperate resolve, as 
if aware of a reluctance on my part, of 
a desire to escape. 

As the features took distinctness 
the pale lips quivered, a flash of 
sombre triumph lightened the gloomy 
eyes. 



220 



A Strange Temptation. 



"At last!" she said, "at last! 
How long you have resisted." 

Her voice came to me like a new 
consciousness, with which my hearing 
had little to do ; it was a human voice, 
but with a tone and quality which I 
had never heard before. I did not at- 
tempt to speak in return ; I waited to 
hear more. 

" You knew, yet you would not 
know," she went on ; " you saw, but 
you would not believe. You have 
fought against my will and persisted 
in a blindness which would not be en- 
lightened. But I could not give way. 
You were my only hope." 

I was tormented by a sense of recog- 
nition, which overcame my reluctance 
to acknowledge by any words this 
strange presence. To speak would add 
to the power of this mysterious being, 
woman or spirit, who had taken form 
in the gloom, and according to her 
own declaration forced herself upon 
my consciousness ; but my wonder was 
stronger than my fear, and so I 
answered her. 

" Who are you ? I seem to know 
you. Have I ever seen you before? " 
She smiled a sombre smile. 
" You know me. "Who better ? 
Have you not worked me up to fuller 
life, given to me a more vivid person- 
ality, a distincter consciousness ? Your 
friend, who made me, hardly knew me 
so well." 

This was a strange answer ; my head 
was throbbing with a heated confu- 
sion of ideas and images. The clue to 
the woman's identity seemed only just 
out of my reach ; she was familiar to 
me as an old friend ; but when, 
where, and how could I have seen her 
before 1 

" But for you," she went on, "I 
might have died an easy death, an 
early death. He had little vital force 
to put into me. I should hardly have 
known or understood before the end 
came and I faded out of life, how I 
came to be, and what I was. I could 
not have resented the cruelty of him 
and you." 

" Of me ! " I answered, in deeper 



wonder. " How can I have injured 
you and when I " 

" Do you not understand yet ? " she 
said. "And there are the others, 
too." 

" What others V I demanded, with 
a feeling of growing chilliness and dis- 
comfort. Could I be in a world of 
ghosts, of ghosts gone mad with 
trouble, who mistook me for their 
injurer? I seemed to have wandered 
into a strange corner of spirit-land, 
and to have at last learnt to see the 
sights there, and hear the sounds ; but 
the land was a dismal one indeed. 

" Come with me and see," she an- 
swered ; and rising from the chair in 
which she had seemed to sit, she walked 
towards the door. 

I had no choice of action ; the possi- 
bility of resistance did not even occur 
to me. Her will was stronger than 
mine, and, when once she had over- 
come the preliminary difficulty of my 
stupidity (a stupidity which had proved 
serviceable for once in delaying this 
unpleasant experience), when she had 
forced upon me the consciousness of 
her presence, I was compelled to follow 
her and to receive the end of the 
revelation. 

She led me up the dark staircase to 
a little unused bedroom. It had, at 
least since my residence in the house, 
been always empty before of any 
human presence. As the door opened 
before her now, I was conscious that 
some one was within. The woman 
with the dark eyes turned and 
watched the effect upon me of the 
scene she revealed. 

At first I was hardly aware what I 
saw ; my hold on the spirit- world 
seemed slight, its sights and sounds 
reached me with difficulty ; but as my 
guide kept her eyes fixed upon me, 
frowning with displeasure at my per- 
plexity, the whole scene grew into dis- 
tinctness as she had done. 

A candle burnt on the little table ; 
beside it, on a low chair, sat a lovely 

firl with a little baby in her arms, 
he could hardly be twenty years old, 
but her face was wan, her large eyes 



A Strange Temptation. 



221 



bright with suffering. She was watch- 
ing with anxiety a young man who 
paced up and down the room with an 
angry countenance. 

" I am sick of it all," he said, " sick 
of you and the child, and the whole lot 
of it. I shall be off to the colonies and 
begin a new life. To-morrow will see 
the end of this one. You may go 
back to your friends." 

" George ! " She rose to her feet 
with a cry of dismay. " They will not 
have me. I quarrelled with them all 
for your sake." 
" More fool you ! " 
" George ! " she repeated, as she 
put the baby in the cradle and went 
forward to catch at his hand ; "if you 
go, take me with you. I will go 
anywhere." 

" Didn't I tell you I was sick of the 
sight of you?" he growled. 

" But, George, it is for the child," 
she answered, with a catch of the 
breath. " I am sick, I am ill ; I 
cannot work for him ; if you leave us 
I shall die, and then my little baby ! " 
She held his hand passionately, 
and, partly through weariness, partly 
in terrified entreaty, she sank on her 
knees beside him, arresting his im- 
patient walk. 

" You ought to be precious glad to 
get rid of me," he answered roughly ; 
"you can't pretend to be fond of me 
yet." 

" No," she said, with passionate im- 
prudence, " I can't ; I know you too 
well. It is because of the child ! " 

He snatched his hand from her in 
his sudden rage, and struck her a fierce 
blow on the forehead. With a low 
cry she fell to the ground, and lay 
there sobbing painfully. 

I stood in my place dumb with 
horror and indignation ; but my guide 
aroused me with an impatient word, 
drove me with the force of her look (I 
can describe it in no other way) back 
into the passage, and shut the door 
of the room again. 

" Now," she said, " do you know us 
at last ? " 

" It is," I answered in a low voice 



of wonder and dismay, " it is a scene 
out of Wilfrid Gale's novel." 

It was with a smile almost of 
triumph that my companion led me 
back to the sitting-room. She pressed 
her wasted hands on the table there, 
and leaned over it towards me as she 
said, " Is it satisfactory to you 1 Would 
you like it to go on for ever ? " 

" I ?" was my perplexed and troubled 
answer. 

" Yes, you," she repeated, with 
gentle insisting, as if she could now 
afford to be forbearing with me. " Do 
you realise it all, and the weary length 
of it? Would you like us never to 
reach the end ? " 

"You?" I repeated again, help- 



Yes, I ; I and the others. It is 
no better for me, knowing what we 
are and all the thin uselessness of 
our existence, than for the others, 
who do not guess, who go through it 
all again and again as if it were for 
the first time and the last. Does it 
help me, do you suppose it can help 
me, in the misery of my life here, to 
know that I am but the shadow of a 
man's thought a shadow that would 
have faded away if it had not been 
strengthened by the force of another 
man's will, and stamped by the recog- 
nition of so many others with the 
seal of a miserable continuance? " 

" I do not think I understand you," 
I replied, although I began to fear 
that I did. 

She smiled incredulously. 

" It adds to the bitterness of my 
sufferings from which I cannot es- 
cape, because they are myself and I 
am them to know that they are 
nothing, the reflection of a man's dis- 
appointment, of his sadness, which he 
put into form and made alive in this 
way ; to know that I can never escape, 
never feel or think for myself, but 
must live over and over again the 
wretchedness which he mapped out for 
me, in order to buy for himself fame 
and a fame of which he knows 
nothing ! " 

"This, at least," I said., "is not in 



222 



A Strange Temptation. 



Wilfrid Gale's story ; this scene he 
did not plan." 

" No," she said, her brow darkening, 
' ' but it is not much ; it is the effort 
of despair. You can help us, and no 
one else. I knew that, and the know- 
ledge gave me strength for once to 
break through the fetters of his mind, 
and to act for myself. I am not like 
the others," she went on gloomily, 
"who guess nothing, but feel on the 
lines that he laid down and have no 
thought of escape. I suppose," she said, 
a faint smile showing through the 
bitterness of her speech, "that the 
evolution which explains all things to 
you may work also in the world of 
fancy, where we, like the creations of 
other artists, are doomed to live ; and 
he had made me so self-conscious and 
analytical, and you had thrown so 
much reality into his sketch of me, 
that it is not wonderful for the self- 
consciousness to have deepened into a 
knowledge of what I am, and how I 
came to be. I fought and struggled 
towards the knowledge as soon as I 
dimly guessed it, in the hope that it 
might set me free ; for if I knew myself 
to be only the dream of a novelist, 
would not the dream vanish at the 
touch of the daylight truth ? But it 
was not so; my knowledge helped 
me no more than yours does. Do not 
the Buddhists teach that consciousness 
is ignorance, and that knowledge will 
destroy it and absorb all life into the 
eternally Unconscious ? But who among 
you has reached this height, except by 
those gates of death which are closed 
to us ? Some of your poets have said 
that creation is only a breath of God, 
which He will inhale again and so 
destroy. But the man who gave life 
to us by his fancy is dead himself, and 
has left us to survive him. Some of 
you have said again that you are only 
a thought of your Creator ; but do you 
suffer less because it is only in His 
thought that you suffer ! If you know 
that you are nothing, does it help you 
when you feel cold or hunger 1 It 
helps me no more than that, when I 
go through those pangs which your 



friend appointed for me to suffer. 
And there is no more any hope of 
appeal to him ; he has gone away and 
left us to take our chance. Nay, he 
wanted our sufferings to have the 
immortality which he had not \ and, 
because his will was too weak to 
enforce his desire, you came forward 
to help with the strength of yours." 

" Do you mean," I said, " that it is 
at all my fault that you suffer so 
much?" 

"Whose fault besides?" she 
answered indignantly. " Your friend's 
fancy created us, but it was not 
strong enough to give us lasting life. 
We should have passed away and 
been forgotten, as lie would have been ; 
but you have given us a place in the 
thoughts of men from which we cannot 
escape ; you have breathed new vitality 
into what was dying before. As long 
as we are real in the minds of many 
we must be real to ourselves too ; we 
must work out over and over again 
the problems of our existence, and 
love, and hate, and suffer, even 
though we may come to have the 
bitterness of knowing as I know 
that our passion is foolishness, our 
pain a shadow, and ourselves the 
mere playthings of a vain man's 
ambition." 

" But," I said, slowly and wonder- 
ingly, " if you exist, there must be so 
many of you." 

"And why not?" she asked, with 
a bitter laugh. " Are there not so 
many of all created things, all things 
that suffer ? And to each one the 
problem is as terrible as if no others 
felt it. The fact of the consciousness 
of a creature does not stay the forces 
that create it. They go on turning 
the machine just as much as ever, 
even when the grain begins to feel 
and to suffer for the grinding of the 
wheels. Consciousness does not count 
in the laws of nature ; it does a little 
in the morality of man, but not 
much not outside the region of his 
own interests. Did not your friend, 
who gave me so much knowledge and 
so many thoughts, did he not reveal 



A Strange Temptation. 



223 



to me also what your clever men, your 
most cultivated men, the advanced 
men of your age, think about con- 
sciousness! How they tell us that 
when there is an end to be achieved 
any end, whether of knowledge or of 
benevolence it cannot be counted that 
the instruments may suffer ? Do they 
not say that in the hands of science 
the throbbing nerves of an inferior 
creature are but as the lifeless quartz 
lines in the unvitalised rock, that 
the mere fact of consciousness can 
make no difference in the treatment of 
them ? When you read these things, 
can you help knowing that the increase 
of suffering is regarded as no check on 
the multiplication of energy ? Men 
must do things and make things, 
even if the things are only made to 
suffer." 

" Some men, if they knew, would 
cease to make," I answered abruptly. 

Her dark sad eyes fixed themselves 
more intently upon me with the 
eagerness of a great anxiety. 

" Are you," she said, " one of those 
men 1 " 

I felt myself flush under her search- 
ing gaze. The oppression of finding 
myself closed in by an unpleasant yet 
just demand was beginning to weigh 
upon me ; but I answered briefly, " I 
am not one of the men who make." 

" You have given life to the dying 
creations of another man. Oh," she 
said, clasping her hands together, and 
stretching them before her in an out- 
break of passionate appeal, "I have 
fought for the strength to speak to 
you, for the power to burst the limits 
of my life, and to make an independ- 
ent effort ; it was not for myself 
only, it was for the others too, all the 
others who suffer and do not know. 
Perhaps I am the first who ever did 
it, but I shall not be the last. For, 
ever more and more, the artists, the 
creators, strive to give us more reality 
and more individual life. They are 
not satisfied to make us pictures or 
types ; they want us to be real men 
and women like themselves. They do 
not make us very great, or very good, 



only very real and unhappy. And no 
man ever tried harder to escape from 
the sadness of his life by putting it into 
the lives of his characters than Wilfrid 
Gale. No one knows this better than 
you do. Yet for a long time you 
would not see my appeals to you, you 
would not hear me when I spoke. 
You have looked into my face with 
the cruel reality and incredulity of 
your eyes until you drove me back 
into the shadowy hopelessness of that 
existence from which I tried to reach 
you. Now, when you can doubt no 
longer, you are going away, away 
where I cannot follow you. Will you 
leave us then to our misery ? " 

The intensity of the woman's look, 
the reality of her speech impressed me 
strangely. I could not refuse to answer 
even as if she were all she seemed to 
be. 

"What can I do to help you?" 
I asked her at last. 

" Undo what you have done. You 
write in many papers without signing 
your name, write in all of them the 
opposite of what you have said before ; 
speak slightingly of us, say that we 
are nothing, encourage the world to 
pass us by and forget us." 

" But /shall never forget you." 

She sighed a little. " That is the 
danger of it ; and I knew that. You 
will forget the others at least. It was 
only for your friend's sake that you 
thought of them so much. When you 
go to other work it will wipe out the 
memory of what you really never cared 
for. As for me, I must take my chance. 
Even if you don't forget, the world's 
hold on me will grow less and less. I 
shall fade out of other minds, until at 
length my thread of suffering will 
become very slight indeed ; then, at 
last, when you die " she smiled here 
faintly, and did not finish. 

" I see your troubles will be over," 
I answered somewhat dryly. " But 
does it not occur to you capable as 
you seem to be of independent thought 
that my position has its duties 2 " 

"You strained your convictions 
for the sake of your friend ; you have 



224 



A Strange Temptation. 



only to do as much in another direc- 
tion and the mischief will be coun- 
teracted," she answered quickly. 

" There is also the memory of my 
friend to consider, and his wishes," 
I replied, determined to argue the 
question out. 

" A dead man, one who does not 
know, who has escaped," she said 
scornfully, as if indeed the gate of 
death was a haven of refuge denied to 
her. 

" And his sister, whose happiness is 
bound up in his success ? " 

She looked at me keenly then, press- 
ing her thin fingers heavily on the 
table again. 

" One woman," she said, " only 
one. You must love her much to 
put her happiness against that of so 
many." 

" She is living, and my friend." 

" And we only dream that we live. 
Ah, but the dreaming is bitter ! " 
She caught her breath in as if with 
the horror of some remembrance. 
" And she can go her own way, and 
make her own life; help those she 
loves, and leave those she hates die 
at the end and have done with it. 
Would you sacrifice us to her ? " 

" It is a terrible thing that you ask 
me to do." 

" And a terrible thing which I beg 
you to undo." 

" If I did it, and told why, no one 
would understand me, or believe me," 
I said, speaking more to myself than 
to her. 

"Has that anything to do with the 
rightness of it 1 " she asked, quite 
gently, and moving a little nearer to 
me. When I started at the movement 
she stopped and flushed all over her 
pale face, as if recognising my instinct 
of separation ; but she resumed her 
speaking softly " You do not always 
act for such reasons," was what she 
added. 

I looked at her surprised. 

" You are a clever woman/' I said, 
" and have worked your way to a 
very individual life : you have got 
quite beyond my friend and me. I 



doubt if even I can help you to- 
escape." 

Her eyes saddened perceptibly. 

" That is what I fear. On my way 
to this, I have learned many things. 
When we begin to help ourselves, we 
get, sometimes, beyond the help of 
others. We grope our way to death 
through fuller life, and if we do not 
quite get there it would have been 
better perhaps not to start. This I 
did not know at the beginning ; but 
even if I had known I might have 
gone on for the others' sake. You 
know how much I mean when I say 
that. I have shown you very little 
of all the truth, but the rest you 
can remember. You have guessed 
dimly what has been going on 
around you before to-night, all the 
sorrow of it, and the pain ; all the 
shame that some suffer undeserved, 
and the wretched remorse of others 
who were created to do the sin, and 
make the trouble. You cannot let it 
go on as before, and go away, and 
forget." 

There was a certain dignity in her 
address which lifted it above the level 
of an entreaty, while its gentleness 
kept it away from the harshness of a 
demand. The consciousness that the 
release she asked for might not include 
herself had purified her mood of its 
bitterness, and ennobled her whole 
attitude. 

" I cannot answer you now," I said, 
"you must give me time to think it 
out and to realise that this is no 
dream." 

"At least you will not go away 
without speaking to me again 1 " she 
said. 

" No, I will not. If you are here 
to be spoken to again you shall 
speak : I will certainly not deny you 
that chance." 

" Thank you," she said, smiling 
sweetly, and lifting her hands from 
the table. There was a swift look 
of farewell in her eyes, and then 
she was gone ; and I was alone, 
more alone than I had been for many 
days. 



A Strange Temptation. 



225 



II. 

WHEN the morning came I broke my 
promise, and ran away. It was a 
cowardly thing to do, but I said to 
myself that I had dreamt a dream 
which ought not to interfere with my 
waking movements ; that I had no 
need to keep a promise made to a 
vision ; and that, if I wished to pre- 
serve my sanity, I must leave at once 
the place where I had been subject to 
such a strange delusion. 

As I walked to the station, a letter 
was put into my hand from Alison 
Gale 

" I am glad to hear where you are 
staying," she wrote. "That is the 
house in which my brother wrote his 
great book his last book. The whole 
place must be haunted by his thoughts, 
and beautified by the memories of 
those creations which had their begin- 
ning there." 

I crumpled the paper up in my hand 
with a feeling of irritation. This fact 
I had not known before, for I had 
always believed that Wilfrid Gale 
stayed-^ at the inn to which I had 
meant .to go ; it was a fact which I 
did not feel pleased to have put before 
me at this moment. I desired to learn 
no new circumstance which would add 
to the vividness of my recent impres- 
sions, or confirm any haunting belief 
in their reality. I wanted to forget 
' The Yalley of Utter Darkness,' and 
all the other books which my friend 
had written, and all the characters in 
them. I decided that fiction was a 
nuisance, and ambition a vulgar mis- 
take. I bought a morning paper to 
divert my mind to politics. 

The first person I went to see when 
I reached London was Alison Gale. I 
did not ask myself why I did it, nor 
try to decide whether I desired to 
strengthen my resolution to escape, or 
only to receive the reward of it. 

The reward was given to me un- 
grudgingly. I still looked ill and worn ; 
my residence at Alderthwaite had 
failed to restore me to my ordinary 
condition of cynical cheerfulness ; the 

No, 315 VOL. xxxin. 



memory of what I had left behind 
stood between me and my personal 
hopes ; I could get little enjoyment 
out of them ; they were at best but a 
necessary consolation. 

Alison perceived my melancholy 
mood, and was full of compassion and 
sympathy. These feelings gave the 
touch of tenderness to her gratitude 
which had been wanting before ; and 
her surrender to me was very easy and 
simple. She promised to be my wife 
with a gentle humility, as if she would 
not refuse anythiDg I wished, yet 
doubted the sufficiency of herself to 
be all that I deserved to have. 

But then, so she was pleased to say, 
no one could be sufficiently paid for 
being good and noble and great. 
When people did very good things, 
their own generosity had to be their 
reward. As for herself and here she 
looked down, blushing very prettily, 
and playing with the flowers in her 
belt it would be a great happiness to 
her to spend her life with one who had 
come forward with so much perception 
and generosity to make the world 
understand what Wilfrid was, and to 
save his genius from being wasted. 
She had always thought that she 
would never marry, because marriage 
would take her from Wilfrid, and she 
would rather care for him most of all j 
but to become my wife now seemed 
only like going on with her life with 
him, and she felt sure that her 
brother in heaven, if he could know 
about it, would be happy to think of 
our spending the rest of our lives 
together. 

I saw that she over-estimated my 
opinion of her brother's genius, and 
placed me in a false position as a 
fellow-worshipper with herself at his 
shrine. I could also have wished that 
she had shown more personal regard for 
me, instead of putting me forward as a 
substitute for the brother she had lost. 
But the personal feeling would come 
with time, and she would also learn to 
understand that I had a career of my 
own, and talents worth considering. 

In the meantime, her excess of sub- 



226 



A Strange Temptation. 



missive gratitude was somewhat em- 
barrassing, and it made it all the 
more painful for me to oppose any 
wish of hers when she brought it 
forward. Almost the first suggestion 
she made on her own behalf was a 
painful one. 

" I should like," she said, blushing 
brightly, " when we are married, in- 
stead of going to the places that so 
many go to, to stay at Alderthwaite 
Hall for a little while. He liked it so 
much, and you know it already, and 
could show it to me." 

I answered quite abruptly that this 
was out of the question ; the place was 
altogether unsuitable. Then I re- 
covered myself, and said I was sorry 
not to agree to anything she would 
like ; but the situation was melancholy, 
the house old-fashioned and uncom- 
fortable. It would not do at all. 

She was a little hurt and surprised 
at first, having evidently felt confident 
of my sympathy with this desire. She 
had a great deal of sentiment, and was 
sure that I had it too, in a cleverer 
way ; but, being satisfied with the 
main thing, my devotion to her 
brother's memory, she was willing to 
be guided and corrected in smaller 
things. After a time she began to 
seem somewhat abashed at herself 
for having meddled in an arrangement 
which she ought to have left altogether 
in my hands. 

Her shyness and submission troubled 
me, and I was sorry to have driven her 
back into the mood of grateful devo- 
tion. However, it could not be helped, 
and I did not doubt that we should 
learn to understand one another better 
in course of time. 

Our marriage was to take place after 
an interval of a few months, and Alison 
went to pay a series of visits to friends 
meanwhile. I was left without the 
solace of her society, and felt disin- 
clined to go back into my own circle, 
or to accept invitations in general. 
Alison's suggestion about Alder- 
thwaite Hall had come upon me with 
a kind of shock ; it brought back all 
the memories from which I was trying 



to escape ; for I could not help realis- 
ing the impossibility of taking to that 
trouble-haunted place the young wife 
for whose sake I had shut my ears to 
the appeal made to me. 

I could never tell her all that hap- 
pened to me there, how I had nearly 
yielded to the strange demand forced 
upon me, or how I had fled in a 
cowardly manner from the considera- 
tion of it. After my marriage that 
chapter of my memory must be a 
closed book, and Alderthwaite a for- 
bidden place. I could never face the 
reproaches possibly waiting for me, 
nor could I mingle my love for Alison 
with my sympathy for that strange 
vision of a woman who had appealed to 
me so passionately for herself and her 
fellow victims. 

I tried to think that it had all been 
an illusion, a dream ; and that now, in 
my happier mood, it could never re- 
turn. And yet the perplexity of it 
haunted me ; and I asked myself con- 
tinually whether I had run away before 
the visions of a disordered fancy, or 
broken a promise to a creature who was 
capable of judgment and consciousness, 
I felt a great desire to settle the pro- 
blem while my life was my own, before 
it was quite bound up with Alison's. 
Her absence at this time gave me an 
opportunity of testing my recovered 
nerve, and proving that Alderthwaite 
Hall had been haunted only by my own 
dreams. To convince myself of this 
fact seemed really necessary to my 
peace of mind. 

I did not write to Alison to tell her 
where I was going, for I knew that her 
letters would be forwarded to me ; but 
I packed up my portmanteau and went 
down again to the old house by the 
lake. 

I shall not tell all that happened to 
me after I went back to Alderthwaite 
Hall ; the recital of it would be pain- 
ful, and would bring back too vividly 
the memory of all that I endured at 
the time. 

At first indeed there was a false air 
of peace and quietness about the place, 
as if it held no secret and hid no 



A Strange Temptation. 



227 



trouble ; and yet this calm failed to 
satisfy me. I was not convinced that 
there was nothing strange to hear or 
see ; T only felt that I had perhaps 
sacrificed my power of hearing and 
seeing, and with it all hope of helping 
those who had appealed to me. 

The sunny quietness of the fells and 
the shining stillness of the lake were 
not without their sense of desolation. 
Somewhere, pushed out of sight by my 
determined action, the miserable lives 
might go on, with the power of prayer 
or reproach denied to them. I felt 
like one of those pitiless experimenters 
on living animals who content them- 
selves with administering the cruel drug 
curari, which binds their victims in a 
hopeless stillness and silence, while it 
leaves them full powers of perception 
and pain. Of all prisons such a one 
must be the .most horrible, because it 
is the narrowest ; the walls of it are 
the tortured flesh of the creature, 
within which it can make no Struggle, 
beyond which it can cast out no cry. 
Had I done something like this in 
refusing to hear the appeal so pain- 
fully made to me ; in cutting myself 
off at once from sympathy and commu- 
nion with those I might have helped ? 
This was my first sensation when 
I found only a commonplace world 
awaiting me at Alderthwaite, the 
chickens cheerfully scratching in the 
yard, the sandpipers crying shrilly 
over the water. It was succeeded by 
one of relief and triumph. My past 
experiences had been delusions born of 
weakened nerves and solitude. I had 
broken no promise after all, and been 
guilty of no unkindness. 

This happy assurance was, however, 
very soon to be dispelled, and I was to 
go through more than my last experi- 
ence of horror. Gradually the power 
of knowing what was going on around 
me returned, at first with a painful 
sense of awakening to a lost conscious- 
ness and of fighting with intervening 
I dreams. I knew that there was trouble 
| near me, and strove vainly to under- 
i stand what it was ; I was certain that 
i voices spoke and people moved around 



me, but the thread seemed lost which 
would guide my perceptions to a clear 
knowledge of what they were. 

This time I had to grope my way 
alone out of the spiritual darkness ; 
my old guide had abandoned me, dis- 
couraged by my unfaithfulness. And 
when at last I forced my way back 
into the shadowy world from which I 
seemed shut out, no one recognised my 
presence there : I was a stranger even 
to her. 

My experience was a remarkable 
one ; I doubt if any one ever went 
through the like before. By the force 
of my sympathy, communicated to me 
in the first instance by the strange 
woman who had spoken to me, I was 
admitted into a world which had little 
to do with my own, and enabled to see 
all that happened there. 

I saw many unpleasant things, 
nearly everything that one would de- 
sire not to see : a grey-haired father 
insulted by his worthless son ; a noble 
woman cast off and scoffed at by an 
inferior lover ; a child murdered by its 
mother ; a wife weeping over her dead 
husband. Even the pleasanter scenes 
brought their own horror; I knew 
they were but the flowery ways which 
lead without any hope of a turning 
straight to a wretched end. I grew 
sick of them at last ; sick of watching 
the bright beginnings of a young 
affection which must turn to hatred 
and humiliation ; the budding of hopes 
whose fruit would be despair. The 
whole thing was a horrid mockery, 
with the dreadful sense of reality 
behind it. It was I who was a phan- 
tom, my presence disregarded and 
even ignored, while the tragedy went 
on around me. 

One of the most painful experiences 
was to see the woman who had ap- 
pealed to me, who had shown herself 
capable of self-sacrifice and noble 
thoughts, lavish her fondness on a 
vulgar villain who laughed at her. 
The sight was revolting to every 
instinct I had. She seemed to have 
gone back, at least at times, to the 
ignorant completeness of her original 

Q 2 



228 



A. Strange Temptation. 



life ; at other times she would half 
awake, look around her in a kind of 
horror and perplexity, and struggle 
to understand the second consciousness 
which slumbered within her. 

At such times I wondered if it could 
be the shock of my desertion which 
had driven her back from the higher 
station, if the violence of the effort 
which she had made in vain had re- 
sulted in a hopeless relapse into her 
old helplessness. 

Perhaps it was my sympathy which 
helped her at last to re-emerge, for 
she began once more to show some con- 
secutive consciousness of the shadowi- 
ness of her life, and to revolt against 
the things it compelled her to be and 
to do. Then she recognised my pre- 
sence, and though she did not speak 
to me looked at me often with 
mingled humiliation and reproach ; 
as if ashamed that I should see the 
things she was forced to do, and 
yet indignant that I should have 
left her with no choice but to do 
them. 

It was long' before she attempted to 
speak to me again, or to take that 
place of leader and advocate which 
had been hers before. She was too 
proud to appeal for herself, and at 
first too miserable to appeal for others. 
Meanwhile it was my fate to watch, 
from hour to hour, so many creatures 
go helplessly on the way marked out 
by the caprice of a man's fancy to 
inevitable sorrow. 

I could not interfere, I could not 
influence I was entirely outside ; 
but a week's watching made me feel 
like Dante in his journey through 
the Inferno ; or, worse than that, like 
a brute who is beguiling helpless crea- 
tures into torture for some purpose of 
his own. 

I had forgotten my own future ; 
I had forgotten Alison ; I struggled 
only with the one thought that these 
victims were Wilfrid Gale's, and not 
mine ; that I had no right to interfere 
and put an end to their sorrows. This 
was the argument with which I lulled 
my conscience, or fought against my 



temptation whichever way you like 
to put it. 

After many days of the struggle I 
felt quite broken down ; all power of 
resistance seemed to have gone from 
me ; I must yield, or once more, like 
a coward, find safety in flight. 

"It is enough," I felt inclined to 
cry ; " the brightness of life is gone 
for ever if I must buy it at the price 
of this knowledge. I will have no 
more of it." 

And then I knew that for the first 
time since my return my old guide 
waited for me, patiently, quietly ; and 
that, however much I might desire to 
refuse, I must get up and follow her. 

She led me out to the lake, and 
there, as we stood beside the shining 
water, bright with gleaming moon- 
light, I became aware of a presence 
near us. It was the girl whom I had 
first seen the night before I fled from 
Alderthwaite. 

She had her baby in her arms, and 
she bent over it, speaking to it softly. 

"Little baby," she said, in her 
childlike voice, "he will not come 
back to us any more ; and my mother 
is dead, and my father will never for- 
give. If I left you to grow up as I' 
did, would you leave me for some one 
who did not care much, as I left my 
mother, and should I have to die 
alone 1 Little baby, it is better to die 
now now before your heart is," 
broken as mine is ; before you break 
some one else's as I did. It is not 
worth while living ; it is better to 
die. The trouble is so long, and the 
happiness so short." She spoke plead- 
ingly, as if the child could under- 
stand and might reproach her for 
what she meant to do, rocking it 
gently all the while in her arms. " I 
am hungry, baby, and very ill. When 
you wake you will cry because I have 
so little food to give you. It is 
better never to wake, never to feel 
any more." 

She stopped with a shudder, and 
looked round as if frightened, and 
I saw then how thin she was, and 
how wan her cheeks. 



A Strange Temptation. 



229 



"It is dreadful to do it myself," 
she said in a low voice ; " if some one 
would only do it for me, and I never 
know, as I can do it for baby ! Oh ! 
if he would not give me the means to 
live he might have given me death 
instead ; but I must seek that for 
myself, even that." 

She seemed to be relenting in her 
purpose, and looked back along the 
path by which she had come ; but the 
child stirred in her arms and uttered 
a faint moan, more pitiful to hear than 
any cry. She bent over it with pas- 
sionate kisses, and said, " I will do it, 
baby, for your sake; I will not be 
afraid." 

She laid it down then, very gently 
and carefully, in a boat moored to the 
beach. With her wasted fingers she 
undid the fastening and put the oars 
into their places ; then, slowly and 
painfully, she began to row into the 
deeper water. She paused once among 
the water-lilies and looked at her 
baby, as if she thought of laying him 
down among their roots ; but she re- 
membered the uncertainty of her own 
resolution and went further away from 
the shore. In the still, deep water 
near the centre of the lake she stood 
up, letting the oars fall away out of 
her reach. She took the baby up 
and remained for a moment, a dark, 
straight figure in the moonlight ; the 
boat had drifted a little, the oars were 
black lines some feet away. Then she 
held out the child suddenly at arm's 
length, uttering a strange despairing 
cry, which was no appeal for help, but 
rather a protest and a last declaration 
of pain to the indifferent universe. 
The cry rang down the lake, and the 
fells cast it back ; it was followed by 
a splash. She had opened her arms 
and let the child fall into the water. 

A strange thing followed. She had 
evidently meant to spring in after her 
baby, but now her courage failed her, 
and she cowered down shuddering in 
the boat. Then she leaned over and 
tried to reach the oars, but they were 
too far away; after that she burst 
into a fit of bitter sobbing, and covered 



her face with her hands, longing per- 
haps for courage to finish what she 
had begun. 

In another moment she stopped and 
looked round her, timidly and cau- 
tiously. She seemed afraid of what 
she might see, and her fear was not 
without foundation, for a dark object 
was apparent in the water near her. 
At the sight of it she rose as if she 
had been struck, and, without a mo- 
ment's hesitation, leapt over the side 
of the boat towards it. 

" My baby, come back to me ! " was 
her cry as the ruffled waters closed 
over her. In the gleaming moonlight 
only the boat was left drifting, and 
near it the floating oars. 

I turned away with something be- 
tween a shudder and a sigh of relief. 

"Yes, it is over," said my guide, 
speaking for the first time since my 
return, and answering my thought. 
" Must it begin again and go on, 
through all the weary course of it, to 
the dreadful end ? " 

I looked at her actually with some- 
thing of anger and repugnance. She 
was like an accusing spirit from which 
I could not escape. I uttered no word 
in reply, but I went in-doors, took 
pen and paper, and wrote through all 
that night and into the following 
morning. 

It was not one thing that I wrote, 
but many. There was a serious essay 
pointing out the intrinsic weakness of 
my friend's writings and the sketchi- 
ness of his characters ; there was a 
jesting discourse, which laughed at 
the public for having taken seriously 
what was only worth a passing thought ; 
there were other papers in other styles. 
The substance of all was the same, but 
the forms were different, and each, as 
I wrote it, I addressed to the magazine 
for which it was most suited, among 
those to which I was an accepted 
contributor. 

I did this work without pause or 
hesitation. When it was done I had 
my breakfast, packed up my port- 
manteau, and departed. I posted my 
productions en route, paid a nying 



230 



A Strange Temptation. 



visit to my lodgings, and took the 
earliest train to Dover. My next 
letter to Alison was dated from Paris. 
I told her that I had been suddenly 
obliged to go abroad on business, that 
I should travel from place to place, 
and that I could not at present give 
her any address to write to. 

My great desire at that time was to 
get out of the reach of letters and 
magazines. If my papers were printed, 
it must be without any proof correc- 
tion from me. I was determined to 
have nothing more to do with them. 
If they came into my hands again, it 
could only be to renew the old struggle, 
which I hoped to have concluded for 
ever. 

When I next saw Alison more than 
three months had passed away. I 
had written to her several times, but 
always when on the point of changing 
my quarters, and I had taken care to 
avoid giving any instructions for the 
forwarding of letters. If this thing 
had to be done, let it be done irre- 
trievably before I had any more 
knowledge of it. 

I spoke to Alison in my brief 
letters of much business and travel 
in which I was involved : and I spoke 
truthfully, for I had chosen to absorb 
myself in an exhaustive study of cer- 
tain districts of the Continent, on 
which, with their people and their 
history, I had been invited to write a 
series of papers. 

" I cannot create," I wrote to her, 
with a ghastly effort to be playful, 
" but I can at least amass ; and I am 
trying hard to lay the foundation of 
some future fame before I come back 
to you. This sort of travelling will 
be out of the question for you, and 
after we are married I shall not like 
to do it alone." 

When I had actually started on my 
return journey, I telegraphed the time 
at which I expected to arrive at home, 
and on reaching my London lodgings 
I found a note from Alison awaiting 
me. It was very brief, and only 
stated where she was to be found ; but 
I guessed from the tone of it that 



something was wrong, and that she 
had some revelation to make. 

When I actually stood before her, 
she looked very pale and sad. The 
mourning which she wore for her 
brother before I went away had not 
been changed for anything brighter ; 
it had not even been modified. She 
listened to my greetings quietly, and 
then sat down, clasping her hands in 
the intensity of some emotion. 

"I want to tell you," she said,. "of 
something dreadful that has happened 
since you went away," and then I 
knew that the thing had been done, 
and that my wild shots had not missed 
their mark. 

A heap of papers and magazines lay 
beside her ; she took them up now, 
and began to finger them in an 
agitated manner. 

" Some one," she said, " has done a 
wicked thing some one who must 
have hated my brother, and been 
angry that justice had been done to 
him at last. See ! " she went on, hold- 
ing the papers towards me, " every one 
of them contains something written 
against his books." 

I took them from her, and was glad 
to hold my head down, examining 
them. As I turned over the pages 
rapidly, I perceived that the writing 
in question was all mine. Some of it 
had been abbreviated, some a little 
altered, the editors having taken the 
responsibility of correction in my 
absence. One little essay, light and 
sarcastic in tone, had evidently fallen 
in altogether with the editorial mood ; 
it had been polished to a keener in- 
tensity of mocking evil, and some very 
sharp strokes of severity had been 
added to it. 

" What is so strange," said Alison, 
in her low, troubled voice, " is, that 
people believe those wicked things. I 
know they do. I can see it by the 
way they begin to look at me, as if 
they were a little sorry, but it did not 
matter much. They are not interested 
as they were before, and glad to talk 
of my brother ; they just look at me 
for a moment in an observing sort of 



A Strange Temptation. 



231 



manner, and then turn away. The 
most they will say now is, ' What a 
pity your brother died so young,' as 
if he did not do enough to make his 
fame first!" 

" You must be mistaken," I an- 
swered, still turning over the leaves, 
and wondering how I could have 
thought of so much severe criticism 
in one night ; " such a change cannot 
take place all at once." 

" Yet it has } and oh ! how I have 
wished for you to come back and do 
something. My friends talk to me, 
and say that my brother's fame had 
not been established long enough to 
resist this attack ; that your praise of 
him had started it, and that now every 
one remembers that you were his par- 
ticular friend. Nobody cared for his 
writing, really that's what they try 
to tell me in other words, to make me 
patient, but people were ashamed of 
not seeming to care when they heard 
that he was so clever, and a real 
genius. Now they can please them- 
selves, because some one has dared to 
write slightingly of him ; and the sale 
of his books has stopped quite sud- 
denly. It must be a very jealous and 
wicked person who has done it ! " 

" Why do you think it is one per- 
son 1 There are six essays here, in 
different papers." 

" They are none of them signed ; 
and I do not believe there are two 
persons in the world so cruel as that," 
she ended conclusively. 

I put the papers down and looked 
at her at last. 

" Alison," I said, " you know that 
I love you." 

"I believe that you do," she 
answered, her face flushing, " that is 
why I ask you to help me." 

" And that I was your brother's 
friend, and liked to be of service to 
him?" 

" You have been before, and you 
will be again now," she said ; but I 
went on without heeding her. 

" How will you believe me, then, 
when I tell you that I wrote these 
papers, every one of them 1 " 



" You ! " She rose to her feet, con- 
fronting me. 

" Yes, I ! " I answered, rising too, 
and putting the papers down. 

" I do not believe you. You are 
mad. You are ill. You do not know 
what you are saying." 

" I know very well. It was to get 
away from this trouble that I left you 
and went abroad." 

She trembled a little, and leaned on 
the table to support herself, looking 
at me with a white face. 

" You could not do it," she said. 
" There was no motive. It is some 
cruel joke." 

"It is the miserable truth ; and I 
will tell you the motive." 

Then I sat down again, and told 
her, as rapidly and yet as fully as I 
could, the history of my temptation, 
how I had fled from it, returned to it, 
yielded to it. 

She sank back in her chair as she 
listened, a look of perplexity, of incre- 
dulity, of pain, on her face. Once I 
thought there was a glimpse of fear 
there; but my calm manner, my 
steady voice, the coherence of my dis- 
course, in spite of its strange subject, 
reassured her. She could not think 
that I was dangerously mad ; it was 
easier to believe that I was, for some 
unknown reason, deceiving her. 

When I had finished she looked at 
me quietly, and said, " You have had 
a strange delusion ; and now you will 
confess all, and undo it." 

" No," I said, " much as I love you, 
I don't think I shall ever undo it." 

"Do you mean," she said, "that 
you will let the world go on reading 
those papers, not knowing why they 
were written? " 

" Does the world know why I wrote 
the first ; because he was my friend, 
and you were his sister 1 " 

She paled a little at this, but 
answered, " It was true ; you believed 
it." 

"With modifications. And these 
papers are true, and I believe them, 
with modifications. No, I will inter- 
fere no more. I have but undone 



A Strange Temptation. 



what I did. If your brother's fame 
is a real thing, if his genius is a suffi- 
cient thing, his works will survive 
this attack. If they cannot survive 
it, if they owed their success entirely 
to what I wrote before, let them be 
forgotten ; it is their proper fate." 

"But I," she said, her eyes begin- 
ning to flame somewhat, " I can tell 
the world what you will not." 

" You can please yourself," I 
answered; "the world will not, any 
more than you do, believe in my true 
motive. They will think my explana- 
tion a mere excuse to escape your 
anger. Will it then benefit your 
brother's fame for it to be known that 
the critic who praised him so highly 
at first repented afterwards and wrote 
these things ? " 

She became very pale indeed, and 
faltered, " You are too clever for me. 
I did not think of that." 

I was touched with pity and tender- 
ness at the sight of her trouble. 

" Alison," I said, " forgive me, and 
let this go by. You cannot believe or 
understand what I have told you, but 
you can at least suppose that I have 
some good reason, and would not 
grieve you without cause. I have 
but undone what I did : your brother's 
fame stands as it was before I touched 
it. If it fades away and he is forgot- 
ten, he is spared the trouble of know- 
ing it. He is gone, and can suffer no 
more from the world's caprices; but 
we have years of life before us. Let 
this be a closed book in the future. 
If you can forgive me I will strive to 
make up in other ways for this trou- 
ble ; why should we not be happy yet, 
since we love one another ' " 

"I?" she said, drawing back, and 
speaking with scorching emphasis. 
" Do you think that / can love you, 
the traitor, the wicked injurer of the 
dead?" 

" I hoped you loved me," I an- 
swered, " since you promised to be 
my wife." 

" I will not break my promise," she 
said, " if you will undo this wickedness 
that you have done." 



"It is impossible, much as I love 
you." 

" Then let me never have the misery 
of looking on your face again," she 
answered passionately. And so she 
turned and left me. 

I have never seen Alison since that 
day, but I have heard of her marriage 
to a clergyman, a very second-rate sort 
of man, who fancies, entirely without 
foundation, that he has a talent for 
composing hymns. 

I cannot say that I have ever re- 
pented what I did, though it has made 
my life lonely, and brought trouble to 
the girl I loved. If I made a mistake, 
the error was a cruel one, to me as 
well as to others ; but I am to-day as 
convinced of the reality of what I saw 
and heard as when I sat down and 
wrote those papers. 

Alison did not exaggerate the con- 
sequence of their almost simultaneous 
appearance. Wilfrid Gale had not 
the qualities necessary to ensure popu- 
larity, though he was clever enough 
for people to admire him when told 
with authority that they ought to 
do so. When told, however, with 
equal authority, and more numerical 
force, that they might please them- 
selves, they pleased themselves in 
the direction of forgetfulness and 
neglect. 

After my parting with Alison Gale 
I went abroad again, and did not re- 
turn to England for some years. 
During my absence Alison married, 
and many of my friends had time to 
forget me. 

They had time also to forget the 
poor genius who had died too young, 
and for whom the mistaken zeal of a 
friend as gossip said had achieved a 
momentary popularity. When I came 
back I found that his name had slipped 
from people's memories, and his books 
had disappeared from the stalls. There 
was no demand for his works in the 
libraries, no reference to his produc- 
tions in the current literature. Very 
few read him^ and nobody quoted him. 
He was remembered, as a name, by 
one or two literary persons, but his 



A Strange Temptation. 



233 



writings had, even with them, sunk 
into the haze of oblivion. 

I went down to Alderthwaite Hall 
once more, and found a great peace 
and silence resting on its ivied chim- 
neys and dwelling in its ancient walls. 
The ghosts had gone, set free at last 
from the sadness of their unreal exist- 
ence. None thought of them, none 
remembered them ; that mission of 
reflecting in a shadowy life the intense 
consciousness of men and women who 
believed in their identities, was over 
and done with. All were gone, except 
one, whose sad face still haunted the 
place with its patient sweetness. 

It was even as she had guessed. The 
effort which broke the narrow bonds 
of her life, and rendered her capable 
of original action, had set her in a 
higher circle of existence than those 
who were her companions. As their 
consciousness grew less intense, their 
joy and sorrow less real, her individu- 
ality remained the same. Gradually 
she became more and more separated 
from those for whom she had done so 
much, and also from the old chain of 
circumstances and feelings which had 
bound her before. She stood aloof in 
her solitude, and saw the old life fall 
away, saw the old companions die out, 
till they were only faint echoes, or 
dim visions. 

Then she was left alone, with no 
life to live, her career ended ; her work 
successful for others, a failure for her- 
| self alone. 

" But I do not repent/' ' she said, 
speaking to me for the last time, " it 
was a good thing to do, and the rest 
are free. I would have done it for 
that alone. It used to seem a terrible 
thing to me, when first I grew to 
understand it, to think of all those 
lives marked out to live, those loves to 
be felt, those sins to be done, without 
any choice. But since then I have 
wondered in my great loneliness 
whether you in the larger world 
have any more choice, though you 
think you have. Those poor things 
thought they had, too, and I thought 
it once ; and I have wondered whether 



if any of you get far enough to see 
what you are, the hopelessness and the 
triviality of it will drive you to de- 
spair, as it did me. But I cannot tell. 
Will any of you be strong enough to 
reach a higher knowledge, and will it 
also prove to be death and oblivion 1 
Will it be the fate of one, as it has 
been mine, to find that greater truth 
which is the end of life, and, having 
opened the door by which the others 
go out, to be left alone in all eternity 
with no way of passing through ? " 

11 1 should never have the courage 
to seek such a way," I answered, 
shuddering. 

"You cannot tell what you would 
do if the need proved strong enough. 
And now I want to ask one thing for 
myself : this is for myself alone. It 
is that you will go away from this 
place again, and never return to it. I 
think of you always with gratitude and 
kindness. To have known you is some 
compensation for having been com- 
pelled, in the existence from which you 
delivered me, to love " she stopped 
and shuddered. " I will not go back 
to that evil thought, which covers me 
still with humiliation. Your memory 
is pleasant to me, but your presence 
fills me with too strong a life. Too 
strong because I have nothing to do 
with it, and am as purposeless as a 
shadow. When you are far away my 
thoughts are dim like a dream. I 
hardly know that I go on existing:; 
one day perhaps I may go out alto- 
gether. For you will forget me, per- 
haps, and it is only in your mind that 
I now live not the old life, a newer 
though a lonelier one." 

" I fear that I shall never forget 
you," I answered in a low voice. 

" I must wait longer then," she 
answered with a wan sweet smile ; 
" when the end comes for you it will 
come for me too. There is some plea- 
sure in the thought. We have never 
lived the same life, I have been only a 
vision to you ; but we may at least 
die together, and that will be a kind 
of meeting. Good-bye." 

She smiled with a quivering lip, and 



A Strange Temptation. 



I put out my hand to touch hers. It 
seemed so real to me that I felt as if 
I might clasp it, and draw her from 
her shadowy world to my real one. 
But she drew back, shook her head, 
and smiled again. 

"Let me go!" she said; "never 
call me to this stronger life again. It 
can only be an added pain to us both." 

My hand dropped. I had no strength 
to protest, but watched her as she 
faded from my sight, and then put my 
hand over my eyes, feeling as if I had 
parted from a friend who was very 
dear to me. 

I never saw her again. If she still 
haunts the old Hull at Alderthwaite I 
shall not know. Peace be with her 
sweet strong spirit if it has not yet 
found its rest ! 



I shall never marry. Alison was 
my first love ; after I lost her I never 
looked on another woman whom I 
desired to make my wife. About 
them all, in spite of their fairness, 
there was something hard, and cold, 
and worldly. That vision that I had 
had of a suffering creature, who was 
willing to suffer still if her companions 
might be set free, came between me 
and all the bright beauty of girls who 
hardly knew what trouble was. It 
comes between me and my old am- 
bitions now. 

What a strange thing it is to look 
forward to my own death, knowing 
that it will bring her freedom and 
therefore her reward ! 



235 



AMERICAN LEADS AT WHIST. 



EVER since whist became a scientific 
game authorities have been agreed 
on one fundamental point, viz., that 
the original lead should be from the 
strongest suit. 

About the year 1728, so far as is 
known, whist was first studied scien- 
tifically by a party of gentlemen fre- 
quenting the Crown coffee-house in 
Bedford Row. It is on record that 
these players laid down as their first 
rule, " Lead from the strong suit." 

Shortly after this (1743) appeared 
Hoyle's ' Short Treatise on the Game 
of Whist.' Hoyle echoes the Crown 
dictum. His first " general rule " is, 
" When you lead, begin with the best 
suit in your hand." Payne, ' Maxims ' 
(1773), says, " Begin with the suit of 
which you have most in number." 
Matthews, 'Advice' (1805), recom- 
mends leads from sequences of three 
cards or more, and adds, " If you have 
none, lead from your most numerous 
suit ; " but when weak in trumps, he 
does not like leading from a long weak 
suit. This, however, is rather a con- 
tradiction in terms, as one of the 
elements of strength is number. 
" Ccelebs," ' Laws and Practice of 
Whist' (1851), states that "generally 
the primitive lead is from the strong- 
est or most numerous suit." Clay, 
'Treatise on Short Whist' (1864), re- 
marks, " Let your first lead be from 
your strongest suit." The above list- 
could be extended, but enough has 
been quoted to carry the point that 
there is a general consensus among 
writers on the game, as also among 
players, that the original lead should 
be from the strongest suit. 

By " the " original lead is meant the 
very first lead of all. When the ori- 
ginal leader loses the lead, and some 
one else opens a fresh suit, his lead is 
original in one sense, but is not the 
original lead. After one or two tricks 



have been played, the fall of the cards 
may influence the next lead. It is not 
proposed to discuss here leads late in 
a hand. The following observations 
apply in their absolute form to " the " 
original lead only. 

By the strongest suit is meant the 
suit of greatest number. It is not 
denied that there are exceptional hands, 
from which the suit of greatest number 
is not led originally. Thus a player 
may hold five, four, three, two, in one 
suit, and ace, king, queen, in another, 
and in his judgment it may be ad- 
visable to open the tierce major in 
preference to the suit of four small 
cards. But. in a theoretical discussion, 
such hands may be ignored, for the 
very reason that they are exceptional. 

Four cards is the minimum number 
of a strong suit. Three is somewhat 
below the average of cards of the same 
suit in one hand ; four is somewhat 
above the average. Hence, for pre- 
sent purposes, it may be taken that a 
strong suit is a suit of four or more 
cards. 

The selection of card depends on the 
number of the cards in the suit, and 
on the number and value of the high 
cards. 

Thus, a small card is led when the 
suit contains no honour ; or, with two 
exceptions, when it contains only one 
honour. The honours are, of course, 
ace, king, queen, knave. 

With ace and more than three small 
cards in a plain suit, ace is led, as, 
owing to the number of cards held in 
the suit (five at least), it is not great 
odds against the second round being 
trumped. Also when the only honour 
is the knave, and it is accompanied by 
at least the ten and the nine, then the 
knave is led. 

When the suit contains two honours, 
if they are ace and king, it is ob- 
viously right, in plain suits, to lead 



236 



American Leads at Whist. 



them in preference to a low card. If 
the two honours are king and queen, 
the king is led. Further, if the ten 
accompanies queen, knave, queen is 
led ; and if ten accompanies king, 
knave, ten is led. In other cases a 
small card is led with two honours in 
the suit. With more than two honours 
in the suit, a high card is always led. 
And observe, in three combinations 
from which a high card is led the 
second lead is a low card, viz., ace and 
four small cards ; king (led from king, 
queen), when the king wins the trick ; 
and ten (led from king, knave, ten), 
when the ten wins the trick. 

In all other cases (bar exceptional 
conditions owing to the fall of the 
cards in the first trick, which can 
only be taken into account in a com- 
plete treatise), when a high card is 
led, the lead is followed by another 
high card. 

A strong suit, then, may be opened 
in one of three ways : 1. A low card 
may be led. 2. A high card may be 
led, followed by a low card. 3. A nigh 
card may be led, followed by a high 
card. 

Take first the case of a low card 
led. Which of the low cards of the 
strong suit should the original leader 
select ? 

A player somewhat advanced in 
the game would answer that, having 
no pretension to win the trick, the 
lowest card of all should be led, so as 
to avoid the possibility of any un- 
necessary sacrifice. He might add 
that, as between such cards as a two 
and a three, it is true there can be no 
sacrifice in leading the three ; but 
that, having a rule of play, it is 
advisable to apply it uniformly, and 
that consequently he would always 
lead his lowest when opening a strong 
suit with a small card. And, indeed, 
this was the practice from the earliest 
period of scientific whist, until the 
year 1872. 

About that time a number of highly 
intelligent players were in the habit 
of pursuing their favourite pastime at 
the County Club, in Albemarle Street. 



They observed that the invariable 
lead of the lowest sometimes lost 
a trick to a very small card on the 
first round, should the third hand 
happen to be very weak in the leader's 
suit. Thus, leader has king, ten, nine, 
eight, two ; second hand has queen, 
knave, five, four ; third hand has six, 
three ; fourth hand has ace, seven. 
The old-fashioned game was to lead 
the two. The second and third hands 
would play the four and the six respec- 
tively, and the fourth hand would 
win the trick with the seven. If, with 
these cards, the first lead is the eight, 
it forces the ace from the fourth hand, 
and leaves the leader with the winning 
card. From such a combination as the 
above there can be no doubt, as was 
soon decided, that the eight, and not 
the lowest card, is the most favourable 
one for the original lead. 

Then the question arose How far 
is this scheme to be carried ? Holding 
an intermediate sequence of knave, 
ten, nine (say with the king above 
and the two below the sequence) 
even the old-fashioned players would 
begin with the nine in preference to 
the two. The example set out at 
length has already shown that if the 
intermediate sequence is ten, nine, 
eight, it is also right to begin with the 
eight. Who shall say that it is not 
right to begin with the seven, holding 
an intermediate sequence of nine, 
eight, seven ? And how about an in- 
termediate sequence of eight, seven, 
six? 

The line could not be drawn, so the 
knot was cut by pursuing a uniform 
practice with all intermediate sequences 
of three cards. That is to say, with 
such a suit as queen, seven, six, five, 
two (containing an intermediate se- 
quence of seven, six, five), the leader 
would open the game with the five, 
and not with the two. 

And " Lo ! a marvel came to light." 
Given the original lead from a strong 
suit, it was remarked that when the 
leader first produced, say, a five, and 
afterwards played a two, he must 
necessarily have led from great nume- 



American Leads at Whist. 



237 



rical strength, that is from a suit of 
at least five cards. 

Now it has been a maxim of scien- 
tific whist from time immemorial that 
it is an advantage to inform partner 
of strength in any particular suit, and 
especially of great strength. Hence, 
it having been discovered that a player 
could inform his partner of great 
strength by first leading his pen- 
ultimate card, when he held an inter- 
mediate sequence, it began to be 
considered whether he should confine 
this advantage to suits containing such 
sequences. Why should he not, it was 
suggested, extend the rule to all suits 
of five or more cards, irrespective of 
their containing an intermediate se- 
quence ? To give a concrete example. 
From queen, six, five, four, two, the 
four was led, and the information was 
given. But from queen, six, four, 
three, two, the two was led, and the 
information was withheld. Why 1 Be- 
cause the four, three, two sequence was 
not " intermediate." It was soon felt 
that this was splitting straws, and the 
rule to lead the penultimate card from 
all suits of five cards opened with a 
small card (whether containing an in- 
termediate sequence or not), became 
established. 

It was, however, hotly disputed in 
some quarters whether it is advisable 
to inform partners of such details of 
strength, bearing in mind that the 
information is also imparted to the 
adversaries. It would require a separ- 
ate essay to thresh out the pros and 
cons of the Battle of the Penulti- 
mate. Suffice it to say that, with the 
exception of a small contingent of 
Irreconcilables, the penultimate sys- 
tem is now approved of by good players. 
And it is not to be supposed that pen- 
ultimates are led, by gentlemen who 
play to win, out of any compliment to 
Drayson, Pole, " Cavendish " or other 
writers who uphold the system. Far 
from it. The plan is followed because 
it has been found to answer. 

There is yet one step further. What 
is to be done with suits of more than 
five cards? 



For a long time (that is, from 1872 
to 1884) the penultimate was led from 
suits of five or more cards. The lead 
of the ante-penultimate from suits of 
six cards had been several times pro- 
posed, notably by Drayson in 1879. 
But the proposals fell flat until a year 
or two back, when Mr. Nicholas 
Browse Trist, of New Orleans, U.S.A., 
hit the nail on the head. He laid it 
down as a general principle that all long 
suits opened with a low card should 
be treated as though they contained 
the minimum of numerical strength 
only (that is, four cards), and that 
the fourth-best card should always be 
the one chosen for the first lead lower 
cards being disregarded. Thus, from 
king, ten, nine, six, lead the six. From 
king, ten, nine, six, five, lead the six. 
From king, ten, nine, six, five, four, lead 
the six. And so on, whatever the 
procession of small cards lower than 
the six. The difference between the 
two schemes may be briefly stated 
thus : for " lowest " and for " pen- 
ultimate " read " fourth-best." 

The advantage of this uniformity of 
lead is that partner always knows 
the leader holds exactly three cards 
in his suit higher than the one led. 
If the leader afterwards plays lower 
cards he still retains the three higher 
cards. An example will render the 
working of the fourth -best rule 
apparent. Put out the cards of one 
suit, and give the leader queen, knave, 
eight, seven, four, three. Give the 
second hand the ten ; the third hand 
ace, king, nine ; and the fourth hand 
six, five, two. The penultimate leader 
starts with the four. Second hand 
plays ten ; third hand plays king ; and 
fourth hand plays two. To the second 
trick the third hand leads ace. The 
fourth hand (now second to play) plays 
five ; the original leader (now third 
hand) plays three ; the other player 
renounces. 

Now the original leader's partner 
knows (owing to the penultimate) 
that the lead was from at least 
five cards; but he cannot infer the 
value of any one of the three or 



238 



American Leads at Whist. 



more cards remaining in the leader's 
hand. 

Replace the suit as at first, and let 
the leader open with his fourth-best 
card the American lead. He leads 
the seven ; the others play ten, king, 
two, as before. 

The third hand knows that the leader 
holds three cards all higher than the 
seven ; ten having been played, and 
holding ace, nine, himself, he can mark 
queen, knave, eight in the leader's 
hand, just as though he saw them 
there. And, what is most valuable, 
the third hand knows at once that the 
leader has the entire command of the 
suit. This he did not know, even 
after the second round, according to 
the penultimate way of leading. The 
second trick the cards are played thus 
ace ; five ; three ; renounce. The 
play of the five shows that the leader 
holds the four, in addition to queen, 
knave, eight ; and the only card the 
leader's partner cannot place is the 
six. 

The difference, then, as regards 
partner's knowledge under the two 
methods is, that according to penulti- 
mate play the third hand knows almost 
nothing about the leader's suit ; ac- 
cording to fourth-best, or American, 
play the third hand knows nearly 
everything. Especial attention is 
drawn to the fact that the most use- 
ful information, namely, that the leader 
commands the suit, is imparted by the 
American lead on ihejirst round. 

It is amazing that players who have 
got as far as penultimates should 
hesitate about adopting fourth-bests. 
They lead the fourth-best from a suit 
of four cards, they lead the fourth- 
best from a suit of five cards ; but 
many of them will not lead the fourth- 
best from a suit of six cards. They 
have swallowed the camel and they 
strain at the gnat. For the first rule 
of American leads is simplicity itself. 
All it asks is this 

When you open your strong suit with 
a low card, lead your FOURTH-BEST. 

There are three cases, already enu- 
merated, where a high card having 



been first led, the second lead is a 
low card. If these combinations are 
calculated it will be found that, bar 
trumping, the original lead of the 
low card is more likely to win tricks 
than that of the high card. So having 
led the high card the leader of the low 
card, to the next trick, is in much the 
same position as though he were about 
to open his suit with a low card, sub- 
ject, of course, to contrary indications 
from the previous fall of the cards. 

It is pretty evident then, if the 
fourth -best law is adopted, that the 
leader should continue with the low 
card he would originally have selected 
had he led that first. For instance ; 
with ace, eight, seven, five, two. if the 
suit were opened (as it is in trumps) 
with a low card, the five would be 
chosen. In plain suits the ace is led. 
Prior to the introduction of fourth- 
bests the two was next led. But the 
fourth-best law points to the original 
fourth- best, viz., the five, as the card 
to be proceeded with. Hence the 
second rule of American leads (which 
is only supplementary to the first) 
is 

On quitting the head of your suit, 
after the first round, lead your ORIGINAL 

FOURTH-BEST. 

The Battle of the Fourth-Best is 
now raging, as did years ago the 
battle of the penultimate. The old 
stock arguments against penultimates 
are urged against fourth-bests. It 
will be well to examine these argu- 
ments. They are three : 1. That the 
lead of the fourth-best complicates the 
game. 2. That fourth-bests seldom 
affect the result. 3. That the exact 
information given by fourth-bests is 
more advantageous to the adversaries 
than to the leader and his partner. 

The complication argument, if sound, 
might be met by remarking it is no 
objection to the rules of play of an 
intellectual game that they should 
exercise the brains of the players. 
But it is more readily met by denying 
its soundness in fact. The leader's 
partner is only expected to observe 
that the leader holds three cards 



American Leads at Whist. 



239 



higher than the one he first led in the 
suit of his own choosing ; or, in the 
case of a high card followed by a low 
one, that the leader holds two cards 
higher than the one led on the second 
round. That is all. If the leader's 
partner is clever enough also to note 
the absence of certain small cards, he 
may mentally place them in the 
leader's hand. But should he be a 
moderate player he is not obliged to 
do this. If he can do it he will derive 
the fullest possible advantage from 
the lead of the fourth- best; if he 
cannot (owing to inexperience or to 
want of observation), he will only 
derive part of the advantage he might 
obtain. As Clay wisely puts it, "The 
beginner should at first content him- 
self by carefully observing the broad 
indications of the game. With care, 
and his eyes never wandering from 
the table, each day will add to the 
indications which he will observe and 
understand. Memory and observation 
will become mechanical to him and 
will cost him little effort, when all 
that will remain for him to do will be 
to calculate at his ease the best way 
of playing the remainder of his own 
and his partner's hands, in many cases, 
as though he saw tlie greater portion of 
the cards laid face upwards on the 
table." The italics are ours. 

The result argument overlooks the 
fact that, in their most important 
features, American leads have been 
anticipated. Whenever a young player 
leads his lowest from a suit of four 
cards, he, like M. Jourdain, who spoke 
prose without knowing it, makes an 
American lead without knowing it. 
So, whenever he leads the penultimate 
from a suit of five cards, he makes the 
American lead without knowing it. It 
is only when he comes to a six card suit, 
or to a suit of more than four cards 
from which he first leads a high card 
and then a low one, that he is invited 
to lead a card which, but for American 
leads, he would not have led. Conse- 
quently, the American lead only differs 
from the ordinary lead in a few cases ; 
and it necessarily follows that the 



result can only be affected in some of 
these few cases. 

The advantage-to-adversary argu- 
ment is more troublesome to combat. 
It is freely admitted that hands can 
be so arranged as to give the adver- 
saries an advantage, in consequence of 
the adoption of the American system. 
The question remains On which side 
will the balance of advantage lie in 
the long run ? This question can only 
be answered by experience. So far as 
our experience goes no one who has 
once practised American leads has 
abandoned them because the practice 
has resulted in a loss. 

And, it being admitted that it is an 
advantage to convey information of 
strength, it is contrary to all ex- 
perience that incomplete information 
should be better than precise informa- 
tion. It may turn out to be so in this 
particular instance; but more than 
mere assertion is required to convince 
American leaders of the soundness of 
the doctrine that the leader ought to 
give his partner not too much infor- 
mation but just information enough. 

When a suit is opened with a high 
card, and another high card is next 
led, it will in most instances be 
because the leader holds a third high 
card. Thus, with ace, queen, knave, 
&c., ace is first led, and then queen or 
knave. It is well established that 
with ace, queen, knave, four in suit, 
ace should be followed by queen ; with 
more than four in suit, that ace should 
be followed by knave. 

The reason is that, with the four 
card combination, the leader is not 
strong enough to tempt his partner to 
unblock the suit on the second round 
by playing the king ; but that, with 
the five card combination, if partner 
originally holds king and two small 
ones, the leader wants the king out of 
the way, on the second round, to free 
his suit. The same applies to queen, 
knave, ten, four in suit or five in suit. 
With four lead queen, then knave ; 
with more than four, lead queen, then 
ten. And, by analogy, from knave, 
ten, nine, four in suit, lead knave, 



240 



American Leads at Whist. 



then ten ; from knave, ten, nine, more 
than four in suit, lead knave, then 
nine. 

It will be noticed that, in the ex- 
amples, the higher of two indifferent 
cards is led when the lead was from a 
suit of four cards ; that the lower of 
two indifferent cards is led when the 
lead was from a suit of more than 
four cards. About these leads happily 
there is no dispute. 

It must be assumed that the reader 
knows the usual leads from combina- 
tions of high cards. The only point 
sought by the American plan is to 
procure a uniform system of leading 
from high indifferent cards. And 
seeing that, in the cases quoted, the 
second lead depends on the number of 
cards held in the suit, the American 
law follows almost as a matter of 
course, viz. : 

With two high indifferent cards, on 
the second round lead THE HIGHER if 
you had four in suit originally ; THE 
LOWER if you had more than four. 

Thus, with king, knave, ten, &c., 
the ten is led. If the queen is not 
played to the first trick the remaining 
cards are not indifferent, and the rule 
does not apply. But if queen, or 
queen, ace, come out on the first round 
and the leader now obtains the lead 
again, his king and knave are indif- 
ferent cards. If, then, he proceeds 
with the king, the higher of the in- 
different cards, he tells his partner he 
remains with knave and one small 
card ; if he proceeds with the knave, 
the lower of the indifferent cards, he 
tells his partner that he remains with 
king and at least two small cards. 

Or, in trumps, if the lead is from 
ace, king, queen, the queen is first led. 
Now king and ace are indifferent 
cards. Ace being the second lead, the 
leader still holds king and at most 
one small trump ; king being the 
second lead the leader still holds 
ace and at least two small trumps. 
Or, from king, queen, knave, at 
least two small cards, knave is 
led, both in trumps and in plain 
suits ; and king and queen are in- 



different cards. If the king is the 
second lead, the cards in the leader's 
hand are queen and two small ones 
exactly } if the queen is the second 
lead, the leader has still in hand king 
and at least three small ones. 

In order to lead properly from high 
cards it is essential to be sure that 
the high cards are indifferent. In 
this consists the only trouble with re- 
gard to these leads. Players who 
know the ordinary leads can apply the 
rule readily. Players who are not 
familiar with leads from high cards 
will first have to learn, by heart, what 
everybody who pretends to play whist 
ought to know. 

Some few writers have recently 
advised the adoption of the American 
system when the leader is strong in 
trumps, and the retention of the old- 
fashioned system when the leader is 
weak in trumps. This may be all 
very well as a matter of judgment 
on obtaining the lead and opening a 
suit for the first time towards the 
middle of the hand. But as regards 
"the" original lead it can hardly be 
argued that a mixed system or rather 
no system is preferable to a uniform 
method. "The" original lead pro- 
ceeds on the assumption that the third 
player holds his average of good and 
bad cards. Hence, if the leader's 
partner has a strong, or even an 
average hand, his play may be seri- 
ously hampered by withholding infor- 
mation which must be given by the 
first lead of all or not at all. 

It may be asked, Why should players 
trouble themselves to learn American 
leads when in many cases the old- 
fashioned lead answers nearly or quite 
as well? The answer is simple. 
American leads propose a systematic 
course when opening the strong suit, 
and substitute general principles for 
rule of thumb. They thus elevate the 
character of the game, and they enable 
even beginners to speak the Language 
of Whist intelligibly for the benefit of 
partners who understand it. 

CAVENDISH. 



MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE 



FEBRUARY, 1886. 



THE GREAT GLADSTONE MYTH. 1 



IN the post - Christian myths of 
the Teutonic race settled in England 
no figure appears more frequently and 
more mysteriously than that of Glad- 
stone, or Mista Gladstone. To un- 
ravel the true germinal conception 
of Gladstone, and to assign to all the 
later accretions of myth their proven- 
ance and epoch, are the problems 
attempted in this chapter. It is 
almost needless (when we consider 
the perversity of men and the lasting 
nature of prejudice) to remark that 
some still see in Gladstone a 
shadowy historical figure. Just as 
our glorious mythical Siegfried has 
been falsely interpreted as the 
shadowy traditional Arminius (the 
Arminius of Tacitus, not of Leo 
Adolescens,) projected on the mists of 
the Brocken, so Gladstone has been 
recognised as a human hero of the 
Fourth Dynasty. In this capacity he 
has been identified with Gordon (pro- 
bably the north wind), with Spurgeon, 2 
whom I have elsewhere shown to 
be a river god, and with Living- 
stone. In the last case the identity 
of the suffix " stone," and the resem- 
blance of the ideas of " joy " and 
of " vitality," lend some air of spe- 
ciousness to a fundamental error. 
Livingstone is ohne zweifel, a form 
(like Cox) of the midnight sun, now 
fabled to wander in the " Dark Con- 

1 A chapter from Prof. Boscher's ' Post- 
Christian Mythology. ' Berlin and New York, 
A.D. 3886. 

2 Both these names are undoubtedly Greek 
neuter substantives. 

No. 316. VOL. LIU. 



tinent," now alluded to as lost in the 
cloudland of comparative mythology. 
Of all these cobwebs spun by the 
spiders of sciolism, the Euhemeristic 
or Spencerian view that Gladstone 
is an historical personage has 
attracted most attention. Unluckily 
for its advocates, the whole contem- 
porary documents of the Fourth 
Dynasty have perished. When an 
over-educated and over-rated populace, 
headed by two mythical figures, Wat 
Tyler and one Jo, 3 rose in fury against 
the School Boards and the Department, 
they left nothing but tattered frag- 
ments of the literature of the time. 
Consequently we are forced to recon- 
struct the Gladstonian myth by the 
comparative method, that is, by com- 
paring the relics of old Ritual treatises, 
hymns, imprecations, and similar re- 
ligious texts, with works of art, altars, 
and statues, and with popular tradi- 
tions and folk-lore. The results, 
again, are examined in the light of 
the Yedas, the Egyptian monuments, 
and generally of everything that, to 
the unscientific eye,seems most turbidly 
obscure in itself, and most hopelessly 
remote from the subject in hand. The 
aid of Philology will not be rejected 
because Longus, or Longinus, has 4 
meanly argued that her services must 
be accepted with cautious diffidence. 
On the contrary, Philology is the only 

3 Lieblein speaks ('Egyptian Eeligion,' 
1884, Leipzig,) of "the mythical name Jo." 
Already had Continental savants dismissed the 
belief in a historical Jo, a leader of the Demos. 

4 There seems to be some mistake here. 



242 



The Great Gladstone Myth. 



real key to the labyrinths of post- 
Christian myth. 

The philological analysis of the 
name of Gladstone is attempted, with 
very various results, by Roth, Kuhn, 
Schwartz, and other contemporary 
descendants of the old scholars. Roth 
finds in "Glad" the Scotch word 
" gled," a hawk or falcon. He then 
adduces the examples of the Hawk- 
Indra, from the Rig Yeda, and of the 
Hawk-headed Osiris, both of them 
indubitably personifications of the 
sun. On the other hand, Kuhn, with 
Schwartz, fixes his attention on the 
suffix " stone," and quotes, from a 
fragment attributed to Shakespeare, 
"the all-dreaded thunder stone." 
Schwartz and Kuhn conclude, in har- 
mony with their general system, that 
Gladstone is really and primarily the 
thunder-bolt, and secondarily the 
spirit of the tempest. They quote an 
isolated line from an early lay about 
the " Pilot who weathered the 
storm," which they apply to Gladstone 
in his human or political aspect, when 
the storm- spirit had been anthropo- 
morphised, and was regarded as an 
ancestral politician. But such scanty 
folklore as we possess assures us that 
the storm, on the other hand, 
weathered Gladstone ; and that the 
poem quoted refers to quite another 
person, also named William, and 
probably identical with William Tell 
that is, with the sun, which of 
course brings us back to Roth's view 
of the hawk, or solar Gladstone, 
though this argument in his own 
favour has been neglected by the 
learned mythologist. He might also, 
if he cared, adduce the solar stone of 
Delphi, fabled to have been swallowed 
by Cronus. Kuhn, indeed, lends an 
involuntary assent to this conclusion 
(Ueber Untwick. der Myth.) when he 
asserts that the stone swallowed by 
Cronus was the setting sun. Thus we 
have only to combine our information 
to see how correct is the view of Roth, 
and how much to be preferred to that 
of Schwartz and Kuhn. Gladstone, 
philologically considered, is the " hawk- 
stone," combining with the attributes 



of the Hawk-Indra and Hawk-Osiris 
those of the Delphian sun-stone, which 
we also find in the Egyptian Ritual 
for the Dead. 1 The ludicrous theory 
that Gladstone is a territorial surname, 
derived from some place, " Gledstane " 
(Falkenstein), can only be broached by 
men ignorant of even the grammar 
of Sanskrit ; dabblers who mark with 
a pencil the pages of travellers and 
missionaries. We conclude, then, that 
Gladstone is, primarily, the hawk-sun, 
or sun-hawk. 

From philology we turn to the 
examination of literary fragments, 
which will necessarily establish our 
already secured position (that Glad- 
stone is the sun), or so much the 
worse for the fragments. These have 
reached us in the shape of burned and 
torn scraps of paper, covered with 
printed texts, which resolve them- 
selves into hymns, and imprecations 
or curses. It appears to have been 
the custom of the worshippers of 
Gladstone to salute his rising, at each 
dawn, with printed outcries of adora- 
tion and delight, resembling in 
character the Osirian hymns. These 
are sometimes couched in rhythmical 
language, as when we read 

"[Gla] dstone, the pillar of the People's 
hopes, " ; 

to be compared with a very old text, 
referring obscurely to " the People's 
William," and "a popular Bill," 
doubtless one and the same thing, 
as has often been remarked. Among 
the epithets of Gladstone which occur 
in the hymns, we find " versatile," 
" accomplished," " philanthropic," 
" patriotic," " statesmanlike," " sub- 
tle," "eloquent," "illustrious," "per- 
suasive," "brilliant," "clear," "un- 
ambiguous," "resolute." All of those 
are obviously intelligible only when 
applied to the sun. At the same 
time we note a fragmentary curse of 
the greatest importance, in which 
Gladstone is declared to be the be- 
loved object of "the Divine Figure 
from the North," or "the Great 
1 "Lepierre sorti du soleil se retrouve au 
Livre des Souffles." Lefebure, 'Osiris,' p. 
204. Brugseh, 'Shai-n. sinsin,' i. 9. 



The Great Gladstone Myth. 



243 



White Czar." This puzzled the 
learned, till a fragment of a Muel- 
lerian disquisition was recently un- 
earthed. In this text 1 it was stated, 
on the authority of Brinton, that 
" the Great White Hare " worshipped 
by the Red Indians was really, when 
correctly understood, the Dawn. It 
is needless to observe (when one is 
addressing scholars) that " Great 
White Hare" (in Algonkin, Mani- 
bozho) becomes Great White Czar in 
Victorian English. Thus the Divine 
Figure from the North, or White 
Czar, with whom Gladstone is mythi- 
cally associated, turns out to be the 
Great White Hare, or Dawn Hero, of 
the Algonkins. The sun (Gladstone) 
may naturally and reasonably be 
spoken of in mythical language as 
the "Friend of the Dawn." This 
proverbial expression came to be mis- 
understood, and we hear of a Liberal 
statesman, Gladstone, and of his 
affection for a Russian despot. The 
case is analogous to Apollo's fabled 
love for Daphne = Dahana, the Dawn. 
While fragments of laudatory hymns 
are common enough, it must not be 
forgotten that dirges or curses (Dirce) 
are also discovered in the excavations. 
These Dirce were put forth both morn- 
ing and evening, and it is interesting 
to note that the imprecations vented 
at sunset ("evening papers," in the 
old mythical language) are even more 
severe and unsparing than those 
uttered ("morning papers") at dawn. 
How are the imprecations to be ex- 
plained? The explanation is not 
difficult, nothing is difficult to a 
comparative mythologist. Gladstone 
is the sun, the enemy of Darkness. 
But Darkness has her worshippers as 
well as Light. Set, no less than 
Osiris, was adored in the hymns of 
Egypt, perhaps by kings of an invad- 
ing Semitic tribe. Now there can be 
no doubt that the enemies of Glad- 
stone, the Rishis, or hymn-writers 
who execrated him, were regarded 
by his worshippers as a darkened 
class, foes of enlightenment. They 
are spoken of as " the stupid party," 
1 'Nineteenth Century,' December, 1885. 



as " obscurantists," and so forth, with 
the usual amenity of theological con- 
troversy. It would be painful, and is 
unnecessary, to quote from the curses, 
whether matins or vespers, of the 
children of night. Their language is 
terribly severe, and, doubtless, was 
regarded as blasphemy by the sun- 
worshippers. Gladstone is said to 
have " no conscience," " no sense of 
honour," to be so fugitive and evasive 
in character, that one might almost 
think the moon, rather than the sun, 
was the topic under discussion. But, 
as Roth points out, this is easily ex- 
plained when we remember the vicissi- 
tudes of English weather, and the in- 
frequent appearances of the sun in 
that climate. By the curses, uttered 
as they were in the morning, when 
night has yielded to the star of day, 
and at evening, when day is, in turn, 
vanquished by night, our theory of 
the sun Gladstone is confirmed beyond 
reach of cavil; indeed the solar 
theory is no longer a theory, but a 
generally recognised fact. 

Evidence, which is bound to be con- 
firmatory, reaches us from an altar 
and from works of art. The one altar 
of Gladstone is by some explained as 
the pedestal of his statue, while the an- 
thropological sciolists regard it simply 
as a milestone ! In speaking to scholars 
it is hardly necessary even to touch on 
this preposterous fallacy, sufficiently 
confuted by the monument itself. < 

On the road into western England, 
between the old sites of Bristol and 
London, excavations recently laid bare 
the very interesting monument figured 
here. 




Though some letters or hieroglyphs 
are defaced, there can be no doubt that 
the inscription is correctly read G. 0. M. 



244 



The Great Gladstone Myth. 



The explanation which I have pro- 
posed (Zeitschrift fur Ang. Ant.) is 
universally accepted by scholars. I 
read Gladstonio Optimo Maximo, " To 
Gladstone, Best and Greatest," a form 
of adoration, or adulation, which sur- 
vived in England (like municipal in- 
stitutions, the game laws, and trial by 
jury) from the date of the Roman 
occupation. It is a plausible conjec- 
ture that Gladstone stepped into the 
shoes of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. 
Hence we may regard him (like 
Osiris) as the sum of the monotheistic 
conception in England. 

This interpretation is so manifest, 
that, could science sneer, we might 
laugh at the hazardous conjectures of 
smatterers ignorant even of the gram- 
mar of Sanskrit. They, as usual, are 
greatly divided among themselves. The 
Spencerian or Euhemeristic school, 
if that can be called a school 

""Where blind and naked Ignorance 
Delivers brawling judgments all day long 
On all things, unashamed," 

protests that the monument is a pe- 
destal of a lost image of Gladstone. 
The inscription (G. 0. M.) is read 
" Grand Old Man," and it is actually 
hinted that this was the petit nom, or 
endearing title, of a real historical 
politician. Weak as we may think 
such reasonings, we must regard them 
as, at least, less unscholarly than the 
hypothesis that the inscription should 
be read 

"90 M." 

meaning " ninety miles from London." 
It is true that the site whence the 
monument was excavated is at a dis- 
tance of ninety miles from the ruins of 
London, but that is a mere coincidence, 
on which it were childish to insist. 
Scholars know at what rate such acci- 
dents should be estimated, and value 
at its proper price one unimpeachable 
equation like G. 0. M.rr Gladstonio 
Optimo Maximo. 

It is, of course, no argument against 
this view that the authors of the 
Diroa regard Gladstone as a male- 
ficent being. How could they do 
otherwise ? They were the scribes of 



the opposed religion. Diodorus tells 
us about an Ethiopian sect which 
detested the Sun. A parallel, as 
usual, is found in Egypt, where Set, 
or Typhon, is commonly regarded as a 
maleficent spirit, the enemy of Osiris, 
the midnight sun. None the less it is 
certain that under some dynasties 
Set himself was adored the deity of 
one creed is the Satan of its opponents. 
A curious coincidence seems to show 
(as Bergaigne thinks) that Indra, the 
chief Indo-Aryan deity, was occasion- 
ally confounded with Yrittra, who is 
usually his antagonist. The myths of 
Egypt, as reported by Plutarch, say 
that Set, or Typhon, forced his way 
out of his mother's side, thereby show- 
ing his natural malevolence even in 
the moment of his birth. The myths 
of the extinct Algonkins of the Ameri- 
can continent repeat absolutely the 
same tale about Malsumis, the brother 
and foe of their divine hero, Glooskap. 
Now the Rig Veda (iv. 18, 1-3) attri- 
butes this act to Indra, and we may 
infer that Indra had been the Typhon, 
or Set, or Glooskap, of some Aryan 
kindred, before he became the chief 
and beneficent god of the Kusika 
stock of Indo-Aryans. The eyil 
myth clung to the good god. By a 
similar process we may readily account 
for the imprecations, and for the many 
profane and blasphemous legends, in 
which Gladstone is represented as 
oblique, mysterious, and equivocal. 
(Compare Apollo Loxias.) The same 
class of ideas occurs in the myths 
about Gladstone " in Opposition " (as 
the old mythical language runs), that 
is, about the too ardent sun of summer. 
When " in Opposition," he is said to 
have found himself in a condition " of 
more freedom and less responsibility," 
and to "have made it hot for his 
enemies," expressions transparently 
mythical. If more evidence were 
wanted, it would be found in the 
myth which represents Gladstone as 
the opponent of Huxley. As every 
philologist knows, Huxley, by Grimm's 
law, is Huskley, the hero of a 
" husk myth " (as Ralston styles it), 
a brilliant being enveloped in a husk, 



The Great Gladstone Myth. 



245 



probably the night or the thunder- 
cloud. The dispute between Glad- 
stone and Huskley as to what occurred 
at the Creation is a repetition of the 
same dispute between Wainamoinen 
and Jonkahainen, in the Kalewala of 
the Finns. Released from his husk 
the opponent becomes Beaconsfield = 
the field of light, or radiant sky. 

In works of art Gladstone is repre- 
sented as armed with an axe. This, 
of course, is probably a survival 
from the effigies of Zeus Labran- 
deus, den Man auf Miinzen mit der 
streitaxt erblickt (Preller, i. 112). 
We hear of axes being offered to 
Gladstone by his worshippers. Nor 
was the old custom of clothing the 
image of the god (as in the sixth 
book of the 'Iliad') neglected. We 
read that the people of a Scotch manu- 
facturing town, Galashiels, presented 
the Midlothian Gladstone (a local hero) 
with " trouserings," which the hero 
graciously accepted. Indeed he was 
remarkably unlike Death, as described 
by^Eschylus, "Of all gods, Death only 
recks not of gifts." Gladstone, on the 
other hand, was the centre of a lavish 
system of sacrifice loaves of bread, 
axes, velocipedes, books, in vast and 
overwhelming numbers, were all dedi- 
cated at his shrine. Hence some have 
identified him with Irving, also a deity 
propitiated (as we read in Hatton) by 
votive offerings. In a later chapter 
I show that Irving is really one of 
the Asvins of Vedic mythology, "the 
Great Twin Brethren," or, in mythic 
language, "the Corsican Brothers" 
(compare Myriantheus on the Asvins). 
His inseparable companion is Wilson- 
Barret. 

Among animals the cow is sacred 
to Gladstone ; and, in works of art, 
gems and vases (or " jam-pots "). He 
is represented with the cow at his 
feet, like the mouse of Horus, of 
ApolloSmintheus, and of the Japanese 
God of Plenty (see an ivory in the 
Henley Collection). How are we to 
explain the companionship of the cow ? 
At other times the Sun-hero sits be- 
tween the horns of the Cow-Goddess 
Dilemma, worshipped at Westminster. 



(Compare Brugsch. 'Religion und My- 
thologie der alten Aegypter,' P. 168, 
" Die Darstellungen Zeigen uns den 
Sonnengott zwischen den Hornern der 
Kuh sitzend.") The idea of Le Page 
Renouf, and of Pierret andDe Rouge, is 
that the cow is a symbol of some Glad- 
stonian attribute, perhaps "squeez- 
ability," a quality attributed to the hero 
by certain Irish minstrels. I regard it 
as more probable that the cow is (as 
in the Yeda) the rain-cloud, released 
from prison by Gladstone, as by 
Indra. At the same time the cow, in 
the Veda, stands for Heaven, Earth, 
Dawn, Night, Cloud, Rivers, Thunder, 
Sacrifice, Prayer, and Soma. We thus 
have a wide field to choose from, nor 
is our selection of very much import- 
ance, as any, or all, of these interpre- 
tations will be welcomed by Sanskrit 
scholars. The followers of McLennan 
have long ago been purged out of the 
land by the edict of Oxford against 
this sect of mythological heretics. 
They would doubtless have maintained 
that the cow was Gladstone's totem, 
or family crest, and that, like other 
totemists, he was forbidden to eat 
beef. 

It is curious that on some old and 
worn coins we detect a half-obliterated 
male figure lurking behind the cow. 
The inscription may be read " Jo," or 
" lo," and appears to indicate lo, the 
cow-maiden of Greek myth (see the 
' Prometheus ' of JEschylus). 

In addressing scholars it is needless 
to refute the Euhemeristic hypothesis, 
worthy of the Abbe Banier, that the 
cow is a real cow, offered by a real 
historical Gladstone, or by his com- 
panion, Jo, to the ignorant populace of 
the rural districts. We have already 
shown that Jo is a mythological name. 
The tendency to identify Gladstone 
with the cow (as the dawn with the 
sun) is a natural and edifying ten- 
dency, but the position must not be 
accepted without further inquiry. 
Caution, prudence, a tranquil bal- 
ancing of all available evidence, and 
an absence of preconceived opinions, 
these are the guiding stars of com- 
parative mythology. 



246 



THE SITUATION IN EGYPT. 



So much has been written and said 
about Egypt during the past few 
years that it may be asked, " "What 
circumstances can justify a further in- . 
fliction upon such a tiresome subject ? " 
The question is so reasonable that I 
will at once explain the motives which 
induce me to give publicity to the 
impressions produced upon my mind 
by a visit in November last to that 
interesting country. The circum- 
stances in which I visited it were 
in some respects exceptional. Ten 
years ago I left Egypt after a resi- 
dence of about four years, having in- 
terested myself in all its concerns, and 
especially in its financial position, and 
having mixed freely with its people, 
with whom I had the advantage of 
conversing in their own language. 
Thus, in revisiting the scene of former 
labours, I was perhaps enabled to 
realise more fully than those who had 
followed events from day to day the 
importance and significance of the 
changes which had taken place since 
Egypt was administered by a Govern- 
ment under British guidance. Over 
those who visited the country for 
the first time, I had the decided 
advantage of comparing the actual 
situation with well-known past condi- 
tions. Further, from a varied circle 
of acquaintances, both native and 
foreign, and in virtue of my absolutely 
independent position, I heard the 
views of all parties, from the con- 
tented foreign functionary to the 
rabid anti - British foreigner, and 
the simple peasant. I went to 
Egypt entirely unbiassed ; indeed, 
rather prepared to find the situation 
better than many supposed it. I 
heard with perfect impartiality what 
every one had to say, and I am cer- 
tain no one had cause to play a part 
before me. My motive, therefore, in 
writing my impressions upon some 



important questions affecting our 
position in Egypt is the belief that 
an altogether impartial opinion, in 
the exceptional circumstances just 
described, may prove interesting and 
profitable. 

The subject is one of far wider 
and more intense interest to our 
nation than I find is appreciated by 
the mass of the British public. It 
is no party question, but essentially 
an imperial one, involving our national 
honour and affecting the pockets of 
the British taxpayers. We have 
assumed in Egypt a position of the 
gravest responsibility, and it is now 
too late to examine whether the 
assumption of that responsibility was 
wise or necessary. My conviction is 
that a series of diplomatic acts, I had 
almost said errors, led us into respon- 
sibilities which we might have avoided, 
and which there was no imperious 
necessity to assume j but in the life of 
nations, as well as of individuals, 
there are often created situations from 
which retreat is impossible, and when 
the acts of yesterday can neither be 
ignored nor annulled to-day. 

Rightly or wrongly, we upset the 
order of things which existed in 
Egypt, and in doing so, perhaps un- 
wittingly but no less truly, we excited 
foreign jealousies and aroused national 
and natural prejudices. We wrought 
havoc in our course with individual 
interests, and destroyed the fortunes of 
many. The ruins of Alexandria and 
the extinction of a trade with the 
Soudan which represented at the lowest 
calculation a value of two millions 
sterling per annum are only some of 
the more palpable evidences of that 
havoc. We undertook the respon- 
sibility of guiding the destinies of a 
people who did not seek our guidance, 
and we promised to create a new order 
of administration which would be more j 



The Situation in Egypt. 



247 



beneficial to the people than that 
which existed in the past. In our 
efforts to accomplish this we have 
already squandered some twenty mil- 
lions of British money, and, including 
indemnities, have burdened Egypt 
with some six or seven millions ster- 
ling, have sacrificed thousands of 
precious lives, and have lost to Egypt 
territory of vast extent and of vital 
importance to the tranquillity of what 
remains. Terrible as all this seems to 
be, it is so well known that it requires 
no detailed proof to the even cursory 
reader of newspapers during the past 
three years. But what is still more 
sad is that our action, as far as I could 
see in Egypt, has been so barren of 
results as to fill us with feelings of 
despair. Thanks to a military occu- 
pation of the country by some fifteen 
thousand British soldiers, our road to 
India may be considered secure ; but 
every one of these soldiers is required 
to hold in check enemies which we 
should never have heard of had we 
not assumed our Egyptian responsi- 
bilities, and which probably would 
never have existed had we left the 
country alone. 

In these sentiments no one would 
more willingly advocate than I the 
oft talked-of policy of scuttling from 
Egypt. But it is with infinite regret 
that I have been brought to the con- 
viction that such a policy is now 
impossible, and would involve disaster 
to Egypt, and dishonour as well as 
disaster to England. It would be to 
intensify all the evils we have already 
unintentionally caused to Egypt to 
kill brutally the patient we had in 
moments of heedlessness interfered to 
possess and engaged to cure. I desire 
distinctly to be at one with my readers 
on this point ; for it is the conviction of 
the impossibility now to throw off: the 
responsibilities we have assumed which 
leads me to examine the causes of the 
unsatisfactory position in Egypt, to 
indicate certain modifications in our 
mode of action, and to draw attention 
to evils which require to be remedied 
even at the cost of some inconvenience 



to ourselves. The past as well as the 
present Government have invariably 
admitted that we cannot quit Egypt 
until we can leave behind us a settled 
Government ; and this essential con- 
tingency places the policy of scuttling 
in a future of which there is no 
possible vision in the present. The 
statement may be proper in diplomatic 
correspondence with other powers, 
but it is of no practical interest to the 
British public, whose purses and blood 
have to be drawn upon until that 
problematic contingency occurs. 

Some, and I found their number 
numerous among foreign residents of 
all nationalities in Egypt, advocate, 
as a remedy for a situation which they 
find intolerable, the taking over en- 
tirely by Great Britian of the govern- 
ment of Egypt ; and another solution, 
of which we often hear, is the pro- 
claiming of a Protectorate by England. 
I will not waste time in examining the 
possibility or the opportunity of either 
of these propositions. To my mind 
the first would be a folly, the second a 
useless formality. 

The only practical view of the ques- 
tion is this. Seeing that we cannot 
reverse our action in the past, can we 
not, guided by apparent defects in its 
execution hitherto, and undertaking 
courageously its manifest obligations, 
hope to redeem our pledges, and work- 
ing upon clearly defined lines gradu- 
ally obtain the objects we have in view ? 
It is because I think we can that I 
undertake the invidious task of criti- 
cising what has been done, and the 
duty of stimulating the British public 
to discard from the consideration of 
the Egyptian question all party feel- 
ings, and to assist in the improvement 
of the material situation of Egypt. 

Our first necessity is clearly to define 
the position which England has taken 
up in regard to Egypt. Our direct 
interference in Egypt an interference 
supported by a military force had, in 
general terms, three objects in view : 
first, to establish a settled native 
government there ; second, to advance 
the material interests of the country \ 



248 



The Situation in Egypt. 



and third, to see that its international 
engagements were properly respected. 
Such, I think, fairly represent the 
expressed views of the past and pre- 
sent government of England in regard 
to Egypt. -.Now, the impression which I 
carried away with me from Egypt was, 
that the progress we have made and 
are making to the first and second of 
these objects is very small. 

Let us examine the situation in 
reference to the first of them. 
Tewfik Pasha, the Khedive-elect of 
England, seems to have an easy posi- 
tion, and looks the very picture of 
health and happiness. But ask whe- 
ther His Highness is gaining pos- 
session of the hearts of his people ; 
whether he is becoming such a part of 
the national existence as to give us 
the near prospect of seeing him the 
cherished father of his people the head 
of an established order of things which 
exists on account of its inherent 
vitality? I am sorry to say that I 
did not meet any one who would have 
answered those questions affirmatively. 
On the contrary, the consensus of 
opinions which I heard was that 
Tewfik Pasha, notwithstanding his 
many deserving qualities, exists only 
as Khedive in virtue of the presence 
of British bayonets in the country. 
The Council of Ministers in Egypt 
means Nubar Pasha, just as the 
Liberal party in England means Mr. 
Gladstone. The reputation of Nubar 
Pasha is European. He is certainly the 
ablest man in Egypt, and a statesman 
who would make his mark in any 
country. Yet no one could pretend that 
the Council of Ministers in Egypt 
possesses the sympathy of the nation. 
Little need be said of the Legislative 
Assembly which forms part of the ad- 
ministrative machinery to which Lord 
Dufferin's mission gave existence. It 
is treated as a kind of enfant terrible, 
whose voice is to be heard as little as 
possible, for it is sure to utter discord- 
ant notes. The fact is the Legislative 
Assembly simply expresses the unpo- 
pularity of the present administrative 
state of things. It is not that Tewfik 



Pasha is a bad Khedive, or that Nubar 
Pasha is an incompetent Minister. 
Quite the contrary. But it is that 
the foreign counsel which we impose 
upon them is too patent, too fussy, too 
arbitrary and too absorbing. They 
cannot acquire popular sympathy, for 
they are no other in the eyes of the 
people than the executive agents of a 
foreign power. No effort is made to 
conceal this foreign action. It is 
flaunted in the face of the public on 
every possible occasion, and served out 
to it in financial, judicial, and adminis- 
trative literature in foreign languages, 
which seem to know no end. We do 
not leave the initiative to the native 
rulers, but we take every means of 
demonstrating that all the initiative 
comes from foreigners. And as that 
initiative is most frequently the in- 
vention of Western innovators, incon- 
sonant with Eastern ideas, it is not only 
popularly distasteful, but renders the 
executive agents, through whom it is 
dispensed, odious to the country. The 
" masterful hand of the resident," to 
which Lord Dufferin alluded in his 
able report, would have been a hundred 
times more beneficial for its essen- 
tial characteristic is that it works un- 
seen by the people, and does not lessen 
the prestige of the ruler. Our counsel 
in Egypt is not of the nature of advice 
given in a discreet and entirely confi- 
dential way, which may influence 
while publicly unheard of, but rather 
the noisy imposition of new-fangled 
schemes. Given that we wish to 
create a native government which pos- 
sesses the sympathy of the country, we 
have hitherto gone a strange way to 
work in its creation. We have seemed 
to fancy, or proceeded as if we fancied, 
that the foreign element we have put 
into the administration might become 
popular either from its individual cha- 
racteristics or from its exploits. No 
greater fallacy can be indulged in, and 
we shall never succeed in our objects 
until we frankly recognise this. The 
Egyptian people do not differ in this 
respect from any other peoples. It is 
in human nature that an element 






The Situation in Egypt. 



249 



foreign in sympathies, essentially dif- 
ferent in education and experience, 
destitute of the direct touch which 
comes from intercourse and knowledge 
of the language of the country, should 
be antipathetic to the native popula- 
tion. And it is in recognition of this 
fact that we preferred to select as our 
object the strengthening of a native 
element rather than the imposition of 
a foreign. But in the execution of cm- 
plan we have miserably failed. The 
task which we set ourselves was not 
the reformation of Egypt by substitut- 
ing a highly-civilised administration 
in place of a semi-civilised, but rather 
the gradual strengthening of the ex- 
isting semi-civilised organisation. This 
latter is a work of patience the 
achievement of years of persevering 
effort, whose progress must not be 
judged by results obtained in a few 
months, but by a steady advance to- 
wards the desired object during a 
series of years. And yet we intro- 
duce in feverish haste far-reaching in- 
novations before the country is pre- 
pared for them ; ignore native opinion 
when it is not in harmony with our 
Western ideas ; allow our agents to 
assume the part of initiators when 
their duty ought to be to eclipse them- 
selves as much as possible from public 
view ; and we impair the authority of 
the authorised native agents by the 
high-handed action of foreign function- 
aries. A few examples will suffice to 
justify this statement. 

An important foreign functionary 
was justly indignant at the number of 
persons he found under arrest during 
several months without trial ; but his 
remedy of opening the prison doors 
and letting all go free was an unwise 
and high-handed proceeding, which 
might be justifiable on the part of a con- 
queror desirous of making himself popu- 
lar, but subversive of all discipline on 
the part of a subordinate functionary. 

We have introduced judicial innova- 
tions in regard to the forced sale of 
land for debt. However reasonable the 
measure may appear to Western legis- 
lators, it is entirely opposed to the 



principles of legislation which have 
always existed in all Mussulman 
countries, where the doctrine is estab- 
lished that " no sale or transfer of 
land can take place without the express 
consent of the proprietor, except for 
the unique purpose of public utility." 
Under this system creditors and 
debtors had got along for centuries, 
and all conventions between the two 
had been established in conformity 
with these conditions. Justice at 
least demanded that in introducing 
an innovation which improved the 
position of the creditor, the terms of 
the bargain to which the debtor had 
consented, should have been modified. 
Because the produce of the land 
was the security of the debt, the 
debtor had consented to pay a usuri- 
ous rate of interest ; but when, by 
a forced innovation, the security of 
the debt became supplemented by the 
land itself, no more than a legal rate 
of interest should have been accorded 
to the creditor. To the imprudence, 
therefore, of hastily modifying the long- 
established principles which had regu- 
lated the possession of property, was 
added a neglect of the first elements of 
justice towards the weakest of the two 
parties interested. Instead of content- 
ing ourselves with improving the ad- 
ministration of justice gradually, we 
introduce precipitately new principles 
of law ; and it is to such precipitate in- 
novations, which were entirely outside 
our programme, that we owe the largest 
amount of the antipathy and hostility 
to foreign intervention which exists in 
the great mass of the Egyptian people. 1 

1 In connection with the anti-Mussulman 
innovation of judicial sale of land for debt a 
circumstance often repeated to me shows how 
strong are the prejudices of the natives and 
how little confidence they have in the perma- 
nency of the present order of things. Even 
when the natives desire to acquire land exposed 
for sale judicially they prefer to pay a much 
higher price to a first purchaser who accepts 
the risk of what they consider an illegal sale, 
and who gives them a title-deed before a 
"Kadi." They have the conviction that on 
the return of purely Mussulman jurisdiction 
in Egypt all the present judicial sales would 
be declared illegal and the title-deeds worthless. 



250 



The Situation in Egypt. 



Again, from time immemorial a 
common punishment in Egypt was 
what is known as the kourbash, a pun- 
ishment resembling the "cat o' nine 
tails" in common use in our own 
country thirty years ago. The kour- 
bash was the weapon of order in the 
country. From sentimental motives 
we forced the native government, 
against its better judgment, to throw 
away that weapon, not gradually but 
precipitately. We might have recom- 
mended the suppression of the penalty 
in trivial cases, and that its illegal use 
should be a misdemeanour of the highest 
gravity; but its precipitate abolition 
was unwise because we had prepared 
nothing to replace it in a country 
where imprisonment is only looked 
upon as a transfer to more comfortable 
quarters than are enjoyed at home. 
Thus along with the shout of triumph 
upon the abolition of the kourbash, 
which is recorded in the Blue Book 
No. 15 of 1885, we hear on all 
hands of the difficulties created in the 
preservation of order, and in the 
execution of necessary works of public 
utility, 

At a railway station in Egypt I 
heard a native farmer loudly crying 
out that he had been forcibly deprived 
of the produce of twenty-five acres of 
his best land, and adding a variety of 
maledictory expressions towards the 
foreign administration represented by 
two Englishmen whom he was ad- 
dressing. I had occasion to converse 
with the latter at the next station, and 
was informed of the cause of this 
scandal. Complaint had been made 
to the irrigation-officers that the land 
of a certain peasant was receiving 
no water. On repairing to the spot 
the officer found that the owner of the 
piece of ground between the water- 
course and the dry patch of land had 
ploughed up and sown the passage 
through which the water should have 
been led. The matter was reported to 
the local Mudir, and he was requested 
to remedy the evil Some days passed 
during which no action was taken. 
Losing patience, the young English- 



man proceeded himself to discharge 
the functions of the local Mudir, and 
cut a channel through the intervening 
land. "I admit," he said, "that I 
took a deal of the man's land, but he 
deserved it. There will be a grand 
row about the thing ; at all events the 
patch is watered." No doubt there 
was a case of injustice, and some days 
would have been required to bring 
pressure upon the local Mudir to do 
his duty ; yet the pressure would 
have delivered the Mudir from the 
ill-will of the perpetrator of the in- 
justice, who was an influential pro- 
prietor, and the disagreeable action 
would have been taken in a legal 
way. The " grand row " which the 
officer foresaw as the result of his extra- 
judicial procedure would have been 
avoided, and possibly a solution less 
disastrous to the proprietor of the 
intervening land might have been 
found. Our young and zealous func- 
tionaries boil over at the sight of 
injustices which they find existing 
around them ; they are impatient of 
the slowness which characterises all 
action in Oriental countries ; but they 
are too apt to forget that a violent 
remedy is often more hurtful than a 
slow but patient curing. In this case 
the land was watered a few days 
sooner, but the authority of the local 
Mudir was impaired and his adminis- 
trative superiors were ignored. This 
is only a trivial example of what goes 
on in frequent instances and in im- 
portant matters. 

To create a native government 
which can hope for popular sym- 
pathy we must be more careful 
than in the past to allow it all the 
prestige of power ; we must leave it to 
work towards its ends in the way 
which its local knowledge and ex- 
perience dictates, and we must di- 
minish to its utmost minimum all 
foreign interference and the use of 
foreign officials. This course may 
imply slower progress and the con- 
tinuance of much that is discordant to 
the notions of Western civilisation, 
but only by it can we hope to work 



The Situation in Egypt. 



251 



out a plan which has no other preten- 
sion than to assist Egypt to govern 
herself. The plan may not succeed, 
but at least it deserves a fair and 
favourable trial, which it has not yet 
had, and never will have until the 
Egyptian ministry is left more free 
to administer according to its own 
lights and to devise in its own way its 
projects for the general good. What- 
ever we may individually think of the 
corruption of subordinate Egyptian 
officials we must remember that 
they are the only properly available 
administrative element in the country, 
and that they must be used and im- 
proved, not set aside. We have joined 
in imposing upon Egypt international 
obligations of a most grievous and 
burdensome nature for the benefit of 
foreign creditors, and our duty is to 
diminish to the utmost in our power, 
and even accept certain sacrifices 
to alleviate, the load and the vexations 
which we too heedlessly assisted in 
imposing. 

This last observation leads me 
naturally to explain the impression 
which I formed of the present and 
future condition of agriculturists in 
Egypt. I had hoped to find a decided 
improvement in the position of that 
interesting class upon which the welfare 
of Egypt depends. Greater regularity 
in the collection of the taxes which 
weigh upon property, and the improve- 
ments in irrigation from the able and 
experienced efforts of Colonel Scott- 
Moncrieff, led me to anticipate that I 
should find the farmers in a materially 
better condition than they were before 
we upset the government of Ismail 
Pasha and undertook to guide the 
destinies of Egypt. Both of these 
benefits, I was glad to find, existed 
in reality. The system pursued in the 
collection of the taxes upon land is 
admirable. By the tax-paper which is 
furnished to the proprietor of land at 
the beginning of each financial year 
not only does he know the exact 
amount which he owes, but also the 
date before which each instalment has 
to be paid. Thus the farmer is freed 



from all vexatious exactions, and is 
enabled to provide beforehand for 
his engagements to the State. Also 
the good work which Colonel Scott - 
Moncrieff has already been able to 
achieve was demonstrated by the fact 
that last year, notwithstanding a most 
unfavourable Nile, the irrigation of the 
land was accomplished with an almost 
perfect regularity, and the employ- 
ment of artificial and costly means of 
raising water to its requisite height 
was greatly diminished. On this last 
point I heard an indirect testimony 
of the highest value. The most ex- 
tensive furnisher of steam-pumps for 
irrigation was summoned to the Com- 
mission sitting at Alexandria to ex- 
amine into the causes of the general 
depression in trade. His frank ex- 
planation of the depression in the 
trade with which he and English engi- 
neers were concerned was that Colonel 
MoncriefE's administration had dimin- 
ished largely the number of farmers 
who required to raise the water for 
their lands by artificial means. This 
testimony confirms in the most em- 
phatic way the value of Colonel Mon- 
crieiFs services. 

But, notwithstanding the reality 
of these two important benefits, 
I heard a general wail from all agri- 
culturists as to their prospects in 
consequence of the steady and persis- 
tent reduction in the value of cotton 
and grain during recent years. *' Prices 
have fallen to such a point that agri- 
culture leaves no longer a reasonable 
profit," was the remark of cultivators, 
both small and great. I had heard 
in Cairo and Alexandria of the large 
number of peasants who were unable 
to repay the advances which they had 
contracted towards money-lenders, of 
the ruinous depreciation in the value 
of lands and the impossibility to find 
purchasers for it ; but it was only in 
the interior that I found the real cause 
of these unsatisfactory symptoms. 
Government functionaries in Cairo 
told me that the peasants were paying 
their taxes with fair regularity; but 
in the interior I heard that to do so 



252 



The Situation in Egypt. 



many had to resort to loans at the 
ruinous rates of four or five per cent, 
per month. A Greek capitalist in 
Alexandria told me that the peasants 
were not paying their debts because 
the British administration had trans- 
formed these formerly honest debtors 
into rogues of the worst class ; but in 
the interior I was convinced that after 
paying expenses and taxes there was 
little left for the peasant to become 
rogue upon. As I was conscious that the 
opinion which I had formed was at vari- 
ance with very largely circulated state- 
ments I took especial pains to examine 
with care and impartiality the allega- 
tions of agriculturists. If true, these 
allegations afford an explanation of 
the discontent to